News Updates : Swachh Survekshan Awards-2023: Out of 35 capital regions, the New Delhi area came in third, and the NDMC area was the cleanest city inside Union territories.

President Droupadi Murmu gave the Swachh Survekshan Awards-2023 at the Bharat Mandapam on Thursday, and Indore and Surat were named the two cleanest cities in India. This was Surat’s first time in the lead, albeit shared, and Indore’s sixth consecutive win of the title.

Navi Mumbai, which finished third in the competition the previous year,

On the opposite end of the scale, West Bengal was home to three of the lowest-ranked cities in the category of cities with a population of one million or more: Kolkata, Asansol, and Haora (Howrah), which came in close second and third, respectively, on the cleanliness indices. Madurai, Tamil Nadu, and Faridabad, Haryana, ranked fourth and fifth, respectively, on the list of worst cities.

In the category of cities with a population of 100,000 or more, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) came in at number 90 out of 446, while the New Delhi Municipal Council area, which came in third in the list of capital cities, took seventh place.

One of the major projects of the Narendra Modi administration’s first few years in office was the Swachh Bharat program, which is centered around the Swachh Survekshan survey. In preparation for the eighth iteration of the survey, 3,000 assessors dispersed around 4,500 localities (of which 3,970 had a population of less than 100,000) to document each city’s accomplishments on 46 criteria, such as enhanced plastic waste management, inclusive restrooms, and waste collection.

President Murmu stated that the G20 Leaders’ Delhi Declaration committed to improving environmentally sound waste management, significantly reducing waste generation by 2030, and emphasizing the significance of zero waste initiatives. He was launching the Swachh Survekshan-2023 dashboard at the Bharat Mandapam in Delhi. “It is highly commendable that in the second phase of the Swachh Bharat Mission, circular waste management is being followed and the circular economy process of recycling and reusing more and more items is proving helpful for sustainable development,” she said, expressing appreciation for the theme of “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle” for the 2024 cleanliness survey.

According to Hardeep Singh Puri, the union minister of housing and urban affairs, there are no open defections in any Indian metropolis. “The Swachh Bharat Mission became a Jan Andolan (people’s movement) instead of (being) a government programme, which made this possible.”

“The Swachh Survekshan has grown from a very modest start in 2016 to 447 cities and urban local bodies participating now. We received comments from 12 crore people for this eighth iteration,” the minister stated.

Out of 35 capital regions, the New Delhi area came in third, and the NDMC area was the cleanest city in Union territories.

Saswad in Maharashtra won the cleanest city award among smaller cities with fewer than 100,000 population, followed by Patan in Chhattisgarh and Lonavala in Maharashtra.

Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh were deemed the top-performing states, while Varanasi and Prayagraj were deemed the cleanest Ganga towns.

Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh led the list of states in terms of cleanliness, while Rajasthan, Mizoram, and Arunachal Pradesh came in last.

Puri noted that there has been a noticeable increase in garbage creation in recent years and stated, “Cleanliness has become a social revolution with widespread effects.” The percentage of waste processed rose from 15–16% in 2014 to 76% in 2023. We want to process all generated waste within the next two to three years.

Chandigarh, a Union territory, was chosen as the best “Safaimitra Surakshit Sheher”—a title granted to a city with sufficient institutional capability, personnel, and resources, as well as secure working conditions for sanitation personnel.

Under the National Action for Mechanized Sanitation Ecosystem Scheme of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, all Indian cities are expected to be designated Safaimitra Surakshit by March 2024.

The Swacch Survekshan awards for 2023 have “Waste to Wealth for Garbage-Free Cities” as their theme.

This time, the cities received a total of 9,500 marks, of which 53% were awarded for improvements in service levels, 26% for certification of the cleanliness of public areas and restrooms, and 23% for citizen input.

Surat’s transformation from a plague-stricken metropolis in 1994 to the cleanest city in India has been a “uphill task.” The city’s municipal commissioner, Shalini Agarwal, stated, “The city faces increasing migration and industrialization challenges.” However, we included waste management and sanitary facilities into our infrastructure.

We kept an eye on waste management using our combined command and control center. We achieved great scores in every category because we mobilized the public to practice cleanliness,” she said.

However, the rankings pertaining to Bengali cities turned into a contentious issue. The deputy mayor of Kolkata, Atin Ghosh, declared, “I have not personally reviewed the report. However, it raises the possibility that the report is politically motivated if it implies that Bengali cities, including Kolkata, are among the worst performing cities. When people go throughout the city, they may observe for themselves what is true.

The awards, according to Bharti Chaturvedi, founder of the waste management-focused Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group, not only foster healthy competition among governments and localities but also provide a hitherto absent forum for peer learning. “West Indian towns, such Navi Mumbai, Surat, and Indore, appear to be doing better than the northern metropolis. As a whole, the states are really performing far better than their counterparts in north India. There is much to be learned from the way that the people who live in these places interact. Smaller cities are outperforming their larger relatives, which is another pattern that has persisted over the past three to four years. This demonstrates the need for a more decentralized method for managing garbage.


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