President gives away Cleanest Cities of India awards

President Ram Nath Kovind with the recipients of the Swachh Survekshan Awards 2021 in New Delhi on November 20, 2021. Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri , Union Minister of State Kaushal Kishore and other dignitaries are also seen. (PIB)

New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind on November 20, 2021, felicitated the awardees of the cleanest cities of India at the ‘Swachh Amrit Mahotsav’ hosted as part of Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0 by the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA) at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi.

Indore wins the title of ‘Cleanest City’ for fifth consecutive time

Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0, launched on 1st October, 2021, focuses on ensuring complete access to sanitation facilities for all.

The award ceremony, organized to recognize the good work done for Swachhata (cleanliness) by towns/ cities, States, and Union Territories under various initiatives of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban), viz. Swachh Survekshan 2021, Safaimitra Suraksha Challenge, and certifications for Garbage Free Star rating for cities – saw more than 300 awards under various categories being given away through the day.

Minister of Housing & Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri, and Minster of State for or Housing & Urban Affairs Kaushal Kishore were also present on the occasion.

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.

Nine 5-Star Cities, 143 Cities 3-Star Garbage Free Cities

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.

Under Swachh Survekshan (SS), 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 crore, 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 urban India.

Indore, Navi Mumbai and Nellore emerge as Top Performers in SafaiMitra Suraksha Challenge

The second session of the event was dedicated to Safaimitras, the frontline soldiers of Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban. 

Commemorating World Toilet Day (19 November), this session saw the top performers under the first-ever Safaimitra Suraksha Challenge being recognized.

Indore, Navi Mumbai, Nellore and Dewas emerged as the top performers, across different population categories among 246 participating cities in the Safaimitra Suraksha Challenge, launched last year by MoHUA to eradicate human fatalities from hazardous cleaning of sewers and septic tanks.

Among the States, Chhattisgarh and Chandigarh bagged the award for best performing State and Union Territory under the Challenge.

In the last year, the Safai Mitra Suraksha Challenge has been able to propel the ‘manhole to machine hole’ revolution in urban India through initiatives such as credit linkages of SafaiMitras with banks through the National Safai Karamchari Financial Development Corporation (NSKFDC), on-the-job trainings through the Sector Skill Council for Green Jobs and setting up of helpline number 14420 in over 190 cities – a citizens’ grievance platform.

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.

President Kovind also released a song titled ‘Har Dhadkan Swachh Bharat Ki – Reaffirming a Nation’s Commitment to Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0’.

Here is the song on YouTube:

The song encapsulates the spirit of the Swachhata movement and is a salute to the commitment of all citizens, especially the children, youth, and senior citizens, in the Swachhata journey. The video, which depicts a clean, green, and modern urban India, is an effort to reinvigorate people to carry forward the SBM-U 2.0 journey in the days ahead. (Press Release)

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