President, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, will honour the awardees of Swachh Survekshan (SS) 2021 at the ‘Swachh Amrit Mahotsav’ organised by Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA) at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi tomorrow. The ceremony will also award cities certified under the Star Rating Protocol for Garbage Free Cities. The Mahotsav will also pay tribute to the sanitation workers by recognising top performing cities under the Safaimitra Suraksha Challenge earlier initiated by the Ministry.
The scale of Swachh Survekshan is evidenced in the consistent increase in the number of cities over the years. From surveying 73 major cities in 2016, 4,320 cities have participated in 2021, the 6th edition of Swachh Survekshan which has become became the world’s largest urban cleanliness survey. 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.
A similar rigour was observed in the certification process under the Star Rating Protocol of Garbage Free Cities, a SMART framework introduced in 2018 by MoHUA to holistically evaluate cities across waste management parameters. In 2018, only 56 cities were awarded certification on some star rating. This year, the number has gone up manifold, to 342 cities (with 9 five-star cities, 166 three-star cities, and 167 one-star cities). Moreover, this year’s certification process witnessed participation of 2,238 cities signaling urban India’s commitment towards the vision of Garbage Free India.
Swachh Amrit Mahotsav is a reaffirmation of SBM-U’s steadfast focus to improve the lives of Safaimitras, the frontline soldiers in the Swachhata journey. The award ceremony will salute the efforts of the top performing cities under the ‘Safaimitra Suraksha Challenge’, an initiative introduced last November by MoHUA to ensure safety and dignity of sewer and septic tank cleaners and eradicating the menace of hazardous cleaning from the urban sanitation lexicon. A total of 246 cities were part of this first of its kind assessment process that is today propelling the ‘manhole to machine hole’ revolution in urban India, focused around “zero-human casualty” while cleaning sewers and septic tanks.