President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday will honour as many as 342 cities that have been conferred some star rating for being clean and garbage-free in ‘Swachh Survekshan 2021’. The event to felicitate the cities, ‘Swachh Amrit Mahotsav’ is being organised by the Union ministry of housing and urban affairs (MOHUA) and would take place at Vigyan Bhawan in the national capital, the ministry said.
Further, the event will also pay tribute to sanitation workers by recognising top performing cities under the ‘Safaimitra Suraksha Challenge’, an initiative earlier launched by the ministry to promote mechanised cleaning of sewers and septic tanks and preventing ‘hazardous cleaning’ in which a person enters them.
“From surveying 73 major cities in 2016, 4,320 cities have participated in 2021, the 6th edition of Swachh Survekshan which has become the world’s largest urban cleanliness survey,” the ministry said. “The success of this year’s survey can be gauged through the unprecedented number of citizen feedback received this year – over 5 crores, a marked increase from last year’s 1.87 crores. The 2021 edition was conducted in record time of 28 days despite several on-ground challenges owing to the COVID pandemic,” it added.
Highlighting the improvements in the performance of several states and Union territories, the ministry said that six states and six UTs have shown an overall improvement, ranging between 5% and 25%, in their overall ground level improvement.
The ministry also said that source segregation of garbage has been started at over 1,100 additional cities. Also, close to 1,800 urban local bodies have started extending welfare benefits to sanitation workers. Meanwhile, with 1,500 more cities that have notified the ban on use, sale and storage of non-biodegradable plastic bags, so far 3,000 city administrations have implemented it, the ministry said. “All North East states have shown significant improvement in their citizens’ feedback – yet another testimony to how the Missions is reaching out to every citizen, including in far flung areas,” it added.
The cities are usually rated using a star system and this year, 342 cities, an increase from 56 in 2018, would be given certificates under some star rating. This includes nine five-star cities, 166 three-star cities, 167 one-star cities.
Hardeep Singh Puri, Union minister of housing and urban affairs, minister of state Kaushal Kishore, chief ministers and urban development ministers, 1,200 guests comprising diplomats, state and city administrators and senior officials, sector partners and brand ambassadors, NGOs and CSOs are scheduled to attend the event.
In 2020, Ambikapur in Chhattisgarh, Rajkot and Surat in Gujarat, Mysore in Karnataka, Indore in Madhya Pradesh and Navi Mumbai in Maharashtra were given five-star ratings.