Indore has been awarded the cleanest city in the country in the Swachh Survekshan 2019 (SS 2019) awards while Bhopal has been declared as the cleanest capital. Ujjain has bagged the award for being the cleanest city in the population category of 3 lakh to 10 lakh. The awards were presented by the President, Ram Nath Kovind at a function here today. Hardeep S Puri, Minister of State (I/C) for Housing and Urban Affairs, Sh Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, MOHUA and awardees from all over the country were present at the function.Speaking on the occasion, the President said that India has made remarkable progress towards achieving the goals of rural and urban sanitation. He said, by winning the first prize in all the four surveys so far, Indore has set an example for other urban centres. The President said that cleanliness should be integral to the behaviour of every citizen to make it effective and sustainable. Many people pay attention to personal hygiene but remain apathetic to public and community cleanliness. Change in this mentality is important for achieving the goals of Swachh Bharat.Shri Hardeep S. Puri in his address said Indore has now retained the top spot in the survey of being the cleanest city for a consecutive three years. Every year, cities and towns across India are awarded with the title of 'Swachh Cities' on the basis of their cleanliness and sanitation drive as a part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan that was launched in 2014. Sixty-four lakh citizens participated in the survey which included more than 4,000 cities in 2019. Indore has reported a 70% drop in vector-borne ailments in 2019, which is being attributed to Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
Stating that Swachh Survekshan 2019 has seen several innovations and best practices emerging from the cities, Shri Puri said that through a mix of innovative thinking, technological interventions and active stakeholder engagement, cities have found novel ways to address issues of sanitation and waste management in their areas. “Some of these innovations include conducting zero-waste public events, converting floral waste to value-added products, cultivating of Oyster Mushrooms from agricultural and kitchen waste in used plastic bottles, etc”, he added.The Minister informed that we have made impressive achievements under the SBM in these four and a half years wherein Urban areas of 23 states / UTs have become ODF, and more than 94% cities are already ODF. Nearly 63 lakh individual household toilets (94% progress), and more than 5 lakh community / public toilet seats (more than 100% progress) have been constructed. Parallelly, more than 42,000 public toilet blocks across 1400 cities have been mapped and visible on Google maps. The Google toilet locator also provides an option for citizens to provide their feedback after using the toilets. Waste processing has gone up to 52% (compared to a mere 18% at the start of the Mission)Shri Puri made a special mention of the top 20 cities in this year’s survey who have been the forerunners in Urban India’s progress towards swachhata – from large cities such as Indore, Mysuru, Ahmedabad, Navi Mumbai, Tirupati, Rajkot, Vijayawada, Ghaziabad, Surat, to smaller towns and cities such as Mul, Ambikapur, Ujjain, NDMC, Karhad, Lonavala, Vita, Dewas, Bhilai, Shahganj, and Panhala. Ambikapur in Chattisgarh got the second prize overall and has become a role model for other towns in the state. Chhattisgarh has also emerged India’s top performer among states, followed by Jharkhand and Maharashtra.
The Minister said that the phenomenal success that this public innovation in the form of Swachh Survekshan has achieved in transforming the Swachh Bharat Mission into the world’s largest behavior change programme. He said that in order to ensure that the momentum and efforts are sustained, we are actively considering the idea of continuing this initiative by having periodic rankings based on data being provided by cities on MIS, and citizens’ feedback, which will then feed into the larger annual survekshan at the end of each year, ensuring that the momentum garnered among cities continues unabated, and outcomes achieved are sustained in the long run. “The Swachh Survekshan exercise was started with the objective of inculcating a spirit of healthy competition among cities in their race towards becoming India’s cleanest cities. It is indeed heartening to see that this annual survey has managed to galvanize citizens also to become our partners in progress.” he added.MoHUA conducted its first survey ‘Swachh Survekshan-2016’ survey for ranking 73 cities (Urban Local Bodies), in January 2016, under the ambit of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban). In order to expand the coverage of cities, the Ministry conducted its second survey ‘Swachh Survekshan-2017’ in January-February 2017, to rank 434 cities. ‘Swachh Survekshan 2018’ saw a massive increase in both scale of survey and intensity of participation, with 4,203 cities covered in last year’s survey. Swachh Survekshan 2019 has scaled even greater heights, covering 4,237 cities, and that too, in a record time of 28 days, in a completely paperless, digital format for data collection! Moreover, even in this short span of time, assessors managed to visit nearly 73,000 wards, 21,000 commercial areas, 69,000 residential areas, 75,000 community/public toilets, and more than 3100 waste to compost plants across the country!