For the fifth consecutive year, Indore was awarded the title of India’s Cleanest City under Swachh Survekshan, while Surat and Vijayawada bagged the second and third spots respectively in the ‘more than 1 lakh population’ category. In the population category of ‘less than 1 lakh’, Vita, Lonavala and Sasvad, all from Maharashtra, bagged the first, second and third positions respectively. Varanasi emerged as the ‘Best Ganga Town’ while Ahmedabad Cantonment won the title of ‘India’s Cleanest Cantonment’, followed by Meerut Cantonment and Delhi Cantonment. In the category of ‘Fastest Mover’, Hoshangabad (Madhya Pradesh) emerged as the ‘Fastest Mover City’ (in the ‘more than 1 lakh population’ category) with a jump of 274 ranks from 361st position in the 2020 rankings to the 87th position this year, thus securing a place among the top 100 cities.
In the State awards, Chhattisgarh, for the third consecutive year emerged as the ‘Cleanest State’ in the category of “more than 100 Urban Local Bodies” while Jharkhand, for the second time, won the Cleanest State award in the “less than 100 ULBs category”. Karnataka and Mizoram became the ‘Fastest Mover States’ in the big (more than 100 ULBs) and small (less than 100 ULBs) state category respectively.
Over the years, Swachh Survekshan (SS) has emerged as an effective tool for transforming the urban landscape. Despite the on-ground challenges posed by COVID-19, a team of over 2,000 assessors visited over 65,000 wards in a record time of 28 days. Maharashtra has successfully bagged a total of 92 awards, the highest by any State in this year’s Survekshan, followed by Chhattisgarh with 67 awards. Additionally, under the Prerak Daaur Samman, a new performance category introduced under Swachh Survekshan 2021, five cities – Indore, Surat, Navi Mumbai, New Delhi Municipal Council and Tirupati were categorized as ‘Divya’ (Platinum). This year’s Survekshan, participated by 4,320 cities, also saw an unprecedented number of citizens’ feedback – over 5 crores, compared to 1.87 cores last year. SS 2021 has also helped identify over 6,000 innovations and best practices in sanitation and waste management from across the urban India.
The vision of a Garbage Free India under SBM-U 2.0 was given further impetus by announcing the results of 3-star and 5-star rated cities under the Star Rating Protocol of Garbage Free Cities. A total of 9 cities – Indore, Surat, New Delhi Municipal Council, Navi Mumbai, Ambikapur, Mysuru, Noida, Vijayawada and Patan- have been certified as 5 star cities while 143 cities have been certified as 3 star. The Star Rating Protocol of Garbage Free Cities was introduced as a SMART framework by MoHUA in 2018, to holistically evaluate cities across solid waste management parameters. In 2018, only 56 cities were awarded certification on some star rating. This year, the number has gone up manifold with 2,238 cities applying for the assessment. The mammoth exercise was completed successfully despite the COVID-19 restrictions as is evidenced in the numbers – 1.4 crore photographic evidence collected across 3.5 crore data points, along with 14.19 lakh citizen validation and 1 lakh locations covered during the assessment period.