Highlights
  • Swachh Survekshan 2020 results were announced today
  • Chhattisgarh won the title of India's cleanest state
  • Out of 129 awards distributed, Chhattisgarh won in 14 categories

New Delhi: In the fifth edition of Swachh Survekshan results, which were announced today (August 20), Chhattisgarh gained No 1 ranking for category ‘India’s cleanest state with more than 100 urban local bodies’ followed by Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh that have achieved the second and third rank respectively. Apart from this, out of the 129 awards distributed, the state achieved success in 14 awards. Chhattisgarh’s Ambikapur achieved the title of India’s Cleanest Smallest City followed by Bhilai Nagar, which gained the tag of Best Self-Sustainable City for 3-10 lakh population category. In Cleanest East Zone category, the state got a hat-trick with Dhamtari winning for 50,000 to 1 Lakh population, Jashpur Nagar for 25,000 – 50,000 population and Patan for upto 25,000 population category.

Swachh Survekshan 2020 Results: Chhattisgarh has been awarded No 1 rank for being India’s cleanest state

In a virtual event titled “Swachh Mahotsav”, organised by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Chief Minister Bhupesh Bhagel who received the award on the behalf of the state said,

I would like to congratulate everyone. We will try to keep up with this and achieve the first position next year as well. Since the very beginning, the state has been following a strategy of waste to treasure that has been proven fruitful in achieving this feat.

Talking about the highlight of 2020 Swachh Survekshan and the unique initiative kick-started by Chhatisgarh, CM Bhupesh Bhagel added,

We are generating manure from waste, we have also started ‘gobar khareedi kendra’ wherein we sell cow dung and generate vermicompost and earn a livelihood out of it. Cow dung, if not treated right, often leads to diseases. In order to change this, we started with the gobar kendras.

Swachh Survekshan 2020: Chhattisgarh Awarded As India’s Cleanest State, Here’s What It Did Right
Chhattisgarh has an army of more than 9,000 women sanitation workers, who every day in the morning go door-to-door to collect segregated household waste

What Has Swachh Chhattisgarh Achieved So  Far

Today, Chhattisgarh is known for being India’s first Open Defecation Free ++ state, which means total sanitation in terms of solid waste management, improved sewerage lines, stormwater drains and pucca cement roads, in addition, to open defecation free tag. Apart from this, the state does the following, which sets it apart from the rest of the states:

  1. 100% door to door garbage collection: Everyday garbage collection is done in all the 166 ULBs of Chhattisgarh
  2. Waste segregation at household level: All households in the 166 urban local bodies successfully segregate their waste at home itself, which is then taken by sanitation workers to the processing plant, where the waste gets treated effectively. Wet waste is used for composting, whereas, dry waste is recycled. Chhattisgarh is known for treating 1,650 metric tonnes of waste per day on an average
  3. Integration of technology: Monitoring of all urban local bodies, from door to door garbage collection to ensuring all safai mitra or workers do their job effectively, an online monitoring methodology has been adopted by Chhattisgarh
  4. Waste pickers have been involved in Swachh chain: Waste pickers in Chhattisgarh have been involved in the Swachh Bharat Mission and given employment. Moreover, all the waste pickers have been given ration card, aadhaar card and life insurance and other government benefits
  5. Brooming twice a day: In all 166 urban local bodies, sweeping is done twice daily, in the morning and at night
  6. Plastic waste management: In all the 166 urban local bodies of the state, plastic is strictly banned
  7. Small sewage treatment plants: Instead of one big sewage treatment plant, Chhattisgarh has small sewage treatment plants that cost Rs 2 lakh each and help treat sewage water of that whole area effectively and that is the reason why no sewage water in the state goes straight into any drains or rivers. It is re-utilised within the area for gardening purposes
  8. Public toilets: All public toilets for women are equipped in the state with amenities like sanitary napkin vending machine, an incinerator facility for effective management of menstrual waste and a feeding area for breastfeeding mothers
  9. Godhan Nyay Yojana: Out of 166 ULBs, in 164 bodies, the state has brought the model of re-utilising cow dung by transforming it into vermicompost
Swachh Survekshan 2020: Chhattisgarh Awarded As India’s Cleanest State, Here’s What It Did Right
Safai workers at work in Chhattisgarh, they collect segregated waste from households and further sort the waste in various categories

NDTV also spoke with Additional CEO, State Urban Development Agency, Chhattisgarh, Saumil Chaubey to know in detail about the steps taken by the state to become India’s cleanest state. He said,

Along with these steps, what sets Chhattisgarh apart is that we have created an army of more than 9,000 women, who we call Safai Didi..They every morning go door-to-door t to collect waste in a segregated format and then further sort the waste into various categories and before it is sent for recycling, composting or other kinds of processing depending on the type of waste. This model was first adopted by the now famous innovative city – Ambikapur, which we further incorporated across the state. Basically, the motto we follow is that garbage or waste is not just the sanitation pickers’ responsibility – all stakeholders are involved in this process – from ragpickers to citizens and municipal corporation worker, everyone is involved in this waste management chain.

Also Read: How Chhattisgarh’s Ambikapur Is Turning Its Trash Into Treasure

Highlighting how the waste management model from Ambikapur was incorporated in all the 166 urban local bodies of the state, Mr Chaubey added,

We created an institution Swachhata Diksha in Ambikapur, where we started training all the officials, sanitation workers about the methodology and how to implement this waste model across the state successfully. Today, we have neighbouring countries like Nepal coming to us to learn this method of managing waste.

Talking about the swachh duties and how she has seen the behaviour of people changing when it comes to the term waste, 54-year-old Dulari from Durg district in Chhattisgarh adds,

I joined this work of Solid and Liquid Waste Management (SLWM) back in 2017. Earlier all the people would just give us waste in a black polythene bag. Our work would double as we had to first segregate wet and dry waste, and then classify the waste in to subcategories like medicine bottles, plastics, old shoes, and so on. Over the years, with a number of awareness drives for the community members, as well as training sessions for the women, the concept of segregation of wet and dry waste was introduced within the household levels. The municipality cooperation also distributed green and blue garbage bins across the community. With repeated efforts and exchange of dialogue, today the community has begun to dispose of garbage in dry and wet form, separately. Now, waste management has become everyone’s duty and that’s why we are at No 1 position.

#WomenForSwachhIndia: Story Of Two Friends From Durg District Of Chhattisgarh Who Is Helping India Become Waste-Free
Dulari from Durg, Chhattisgarh on her swachh duties (Photo courtesy: WaterAid India)

Also Read: Swachh Survekshan 2020: Indore Is India’s Cleanest City Yet Again, Here’s Why

Chhattisgarh’s Effort In The COVID Pandemic

Talking about the coronavirus pandemic and how the state has managed to keep its safai workers safe while ensuring waste in the city is managed effectively at all times, an official from the State Urban Development Agency of the state added,

Even before coronavirus era, when masks and personal protective equipments were not very common words, in Chhattisgarh, we had trained all the sanitation workers to use these at all times, whenever they are handling waste. As a result, when pandemic struck, we didn’t face much of an issue, in terms of personal hygiene for these workers and that’s the main reason why the spread of the virus is very less in the sanitation workers of the state. Moreover, the state uses all its Mayor or Corporate fund in buying PPE kits or bodysuits for the sanitation workers at all the times, because if they are safe, the health of the state is safe. In terms of testing, whenever any sanitation worker complains of any COVID-related symptom, the first thing as a protocol, we do is that we isolate the person and then the test is followed.

Swachh Survekshan 2020: Chhattisgarh Awarded As India’s Cleanest State, Here’s What It Did Right
Even in COVID pandemic, safai workers in Chhattisgarh are on their swachh duties and helping manage state’s waste effectively

Also Read: Ahead Of Swachh Survekshan 2020 Results, A Lookback At The Five Year Journey Of Swachh Survekshan

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollutionclean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.

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