- Swachh Survekshan 2020 results were announced on August 20
- Gujarat’s four cities are in the list of top 10 cleanest cities in India
- This is the first time, Surat has been given second ranking
New Delhi: In the fifth edition of Swachh Survekshan, cited as the world’s largest cleanliness survey by the government, Gujarat’s Surat for the first time was ranked as India’s second cleanest city after Madhya Pradesh’s Indore. In Swachh Survekshan 2019 and 2018, the city bagged 14th rank. Apart from Surat, Gujarat’s three other cities are among top 10 cleanest cities of India – Ahmedabad (5th spot), Rajkot (6th spot) and Vadodara (10th spot).
Elated by this great success, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said,
It is a matter of great happiness and pride that four Gujarat cities have made it to the top 10 list of Swachh Survekshan 2020. I congratulate people, elected representatives and mayors of these four cities for achieving this feat. Its a matter of pride for all Gujaratis today because we are walking on the path shown by Mahatma Gandhi about maintaining cleanliness. Our PM, too, had initiated a major social movement to make people understand the importance of cleanliness. The people of the state accepted the appeal of these “two sons of Gujarat” and this helped the four cities figure in the top 10 cleanest cities of the country.
Terming the Swachh Survekshan survey results as “encouraging”, CM Vijay Rupani said Gujarat is committed to create more cleaner and greener cities in future.
View Chief Minister Vijay Rupani’s Message
આજે ગુજરાત માટે ખુશી અને ગૌરવની ક્ષણ છે. દસ લાખથી વધારે વસ્તી ધરાવતા શહેરોના #SwachhSurvekshan2020માં પ્રથમ 10માં ગુજરાતના કુલ 4 શહેરો સુરત, અમદાવાદ, રાજકોટ અને વડોદરાનો સમાવેશ થયો છે. પ્રધાનમંત્રી શ્રી @narendramodi જીના સ્વચ્છ ભારતના અભિયાનની આ સફળતા છે. અભિનંદન ગુજરાત pic.twitter.com/Qss0KS1NIt
— Vijay Rupani (@vijayrupanibjp) August 20, 2020
All About Surat’s Swachh Success
Under Swachh Survekshan 2020, cities were ranked out of the total of 6,000 marks, out of this, Surat got 5,519.59, whereas, Indore achieved 5,647.56 marks. Talking about the activities done by Surat over the years to improve its ranking, Dr Swapnil Patel from Surat Municipal Corporation adds,
Surat is following the motto of 3Rs very seriously – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. For this, first, we implemented 100 per cent door-to-door garbage collection, secondly, we implement waste segregation at home, thirdly, we implemented various mechanism to treat the waste being generated in the city effectively. As a result, today, Surat is treating all its waste.
Currently, Surat Municipal Corporation collects, transports, treats, around 1800 Metric tonnes of solid waste every day. In more than 85 societies, the city has a mechanism in place to treat the society waste within the colony itself – wet waste is treated by making compost, which is further used within the society for gardening activities, whereas, dry waste is given to waste pickers, which they sell further and earn their livelihood. Dr Swapnil Patel adds,
Apart from this, more than 1 lakh houses in Surat are practising home composting. As mostly home waste consists of wet waste, the city’s waste is automatically reduced down. Now, whatever, dry waste is left, those our 6,500 safai karamcharis sena, take care off.
Along with the house waste, Surat Municipal Corporation treats over 3 tonnes of waste from all the other religious places within the city by processing it at various fermi-composting plants. Moreover, with a capacity of 75 tonnes per day, plastic waste of the city is recycled to produce bio-fuel and crude oil using pyrolysis technology at the plastic waste management plant situated in Bhatar. Surat is also making statues for beautification purposes within the city from recycled waste. Construction and demolition waste is also treated 100 per-cent in the city at its operational plant that has a capacity of treating 300 tonnes per day waste. Talking about sewage water, the city is also treating and recycling its sewage water for gardening purposes.
Highlighting the city’s overall cleanliness, Dr Swapnil Patel said,
Managing waste is like a 360-degree process, we just cannot manage home waste and say the city is clean, we have to treat waste from all angles and that is what the corporation is doing through all these initiatives. Earlier, in the city, we noticed that people were dumping waste on the roadsides, where we have big garbage containers and it was not a very pleasing sight to be at..Therefore, we decided to remove all the big container bins from the city and instead add smart underground waste bins – the task of these special sensor-fitted bins is two-fold – end open dumping discreetly by keeping garbage out of sight. And secondly, these smart bins send alerts to the officials once 70 per cent of the bin is full thereby avoiding garbage spillover on the roads. We have installed more than 75 underground bins in Surat.
Surat Municipal Commissioner Banchhanidhi Pani talking about Surat’s Swachh success in the past few years said,
This is for the first time, our city has achieved such a ranking. We are India’s No 2 cleanest city..This is the result of relentless efforts by all its people and the members of the municipal corporation.
Congratulations! Surat has been declared as the 2nd cleanest city in India by #SwachhSurvekshan2020. We are thankful to all citizens for their active participation in maintaining our city clean. pic.twitter.com/4R44hXXnlM
— Commissioner SMC (@CommissionerSMC) August 20, 2020
How Did Surat Ensure Waste Is Managed Well Even During COVID Pandemic
Highlighting details about this, Dr Swapnil Patel said that one of the unique things about Surat is that the Municipal Corporation of the city provides annually free check-ups for all its 6500 sanitation workers and their family members. He added,
When pandemic struck the country, we immediately gave all the workers personal protective equipments like bodysuits, masks and gloves. Moreover, trained them on how to handle waste in such scenarios – no personal contact is there between the workers and the house owners, they keep the bins outside their houses, the sanitation workers simply pick the waste with utmost care. Apart from that, the workers were given training on what steps they need to follow immediately after handling the waste – like hand washing, taking a proper bath and washing the clothes etc..
Another important thing that the corporation has done that they have put a mechanism in place for collection of waste from coronavirus positive houses. Explaining that, Dr Swapnil Patel added,
If our workers are going to coronavirus positive patients house then we send them with double PPE suits on and a separate vehicle, which we have put in place only for this scenario. The waste collected from the COVID-19 positive house, straight away goes to an incinerator facility and is not mixed with any type of waste.
In terms of testing in the COVID scenarios for all sanitation workers, if a worker exhibits the symptoms of the virus then he/she is immediately isolated and given special leave without any pay cuts followed by a COVID-19 testing procedure.
In the fifth edition of Swachh Survekshan, a total of 4,242 cities, 62 Cantonment Boards and 92 Ganga Towns were assessed. This year, the format of the survey was tweaked to adopt a Swachh Survekshan League model, where instead of once in a year exercise of assessing the cities and states, the evaluation happened throughout the year and quarterly results put out.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.