The Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Puri announced that for the assessment year 2019-2020; a total of six cities are certified as 5-Star garbage-free cities. The Star Rating Protocol grades Surat, Rajkot, Indore, Mysore, Ambikapur (in Chhattisgarh), and Navi Mumbai as 5-Star. Accordingly, as per the 2020 survey; 6 cities received 5 stars, 65 Cities received 3 stars and 70 Cities received 1 star.
About The Survey
Speaking to media, Puri said “five years ago, we introduced Swachh Survekshan (SS); the annual cleanliness survey for urban India that has proven immensely successful. However, since it is a ranking system; several of our cities, despite doing exceptionally well, were not recognized appropriately. The Ministry, therefore, devised the Star Rating Protocol for Garbage Free Cities; a comprehensive framework where each ward in every city must achieve a certain standard; across 24 different components of solid waste management (SWM); and grades on the basis of overall marks received”.
The Star Rating Protocol
The Ministry launched the Star Rating Protocol in January 2018 to institutionalize a mechanism for cities; to achieve Garbage Free status, and to motivate cities to achieve higher degrees of cleanliness. It is devised in a holistic manner including components such as the cleanliness of drains and water bodies, plastic waste management, managing construction & demolition waste, etc.; which are critical drivers for achieving garbage-free cities. While the key thrust of this protocol is on Solid Waste Management, it also takes care of ensuring certain minimum standards of sanitation through a set of prerequisites defined in the framework.
Maharashtra’s Assessment in The Star Rating Protocol
Navi Mumbai has consistently figured among the list of clean cities in India. It ranked 7th in the 2019 edition of the Swachh Sarvekshan. The System rates 34 of Maharashtra’s cities including Chandrapur, Dhule, Jalgaon, Jalna, Thane and Mira-Bhayandar as 3 stars; and 41 cities including Ahmednagar, Akola, Nashik, Vasai-Virar and Kalyan-Dombivili as 1 star.
Results Of The Assessment
Altogether 1,435 cities / urban local bodies had applied for Star Rating Assessment. During the assessments, the authority collected 1.19 crore citizen feedbacks and over 10 lakh geo-tagged pictures. Additionally, 1210 field assessors visited 5175 solid waste processing plants. While 698 cities cleared the desktop assessment, 141 cities have been certified with star rating during field assessment. “The low number of certifications signifies the difficult and healthy certification mechanism of the protocol,” said Durga Shankar Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
Since its launch in 2014, Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM-U) has made significant progress in the area of both sanitation and solid waste management. 66 lakhs individual household toilets and over 6 lakhs community/ public toilets have been constructed/ or are under construction. In the area of solid waste management, 96% of wards have 100% door-to-door collection while 65% of the total waste generated is getting processed.