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Swachh Survekshan 2019 to focus on sustainability and public participation

Hardeep Puri, Minister of State (I/C) for Housing & Urban Affairshas stated that while Swachh Survekshan 2019 will focus on sustainability and encourage large scale citizen participation and ensure progress towards garbage free and open defecation free cities, the Ease of Living Index will encourage cities to move towards an ‘outcome-based’ approach to Urban planning &Management. Sh. Puri launched the fourth edition of the annual cleanliness survey of urban India – Swachh Survekshan 2019, here today. The event also saw the launch of the SBM ODF+ and SBM ODF++ Protocols, web-based citizen engagement platform Swachh Manch, the Ease of Living Index and Ease of Living Index dashboard. Sh Durga Shanker Mishra,Secretary, MoHUA and senior officers of the ministry were also present during the occasion.

Swachh Survekshan 2019

Swachh Survekshan 2019 will be conducted across all cities and towns across the country between 4th – 31st January 2019. The distinctive features of the survey are geared towards encouraging large scale citizen participation, ensuring sustainability of initiatives taken towards garbage free and open defecation free cities, providing credible outcomes which would be validated by third party certification, institutionalizing existing systems through online processes and creating awareness amongst all sections of society about the importance of working together towards making towns and cities a better place to live in. Further, this year’s Swachh Survekshan will focus separately on sanitation and garbage-free certifications by independent third party, while parallelly accelerating citizens’ engagement in the Mission. Additionally, the survey also intends to foster a spirit of healthy competition among towns and cities to improve their service delivery to citizens, towards creating cleaner cities.

The key highlights of Swachh Survekshan 2019 are as follows:

Fully digitized survey through online MIS

The survey indicators/questionnaire will carry a total of 5000 marks as compared to 4000 marks in Swachh Survekshan 2018.

Data will be collected from 4 broad sources – ‘Service Level Progress’, Direct Observation, Citizens Feedback and Certification – as shown below.

Revised weightage for the components under ‘Service Level Progress’, adding a new component ‘By-Laws’ (refer diagram below).

Certification (Star Rating of Garbage Free Cities and Open Defecation Free Protocols)
MoHUA has introduced an important component of ‘Certification’ of the city on two different aspects:

Star Rating of Garbage Free Cities: The cities would be evaluated on the basis of the star rating achieved by them as per the protocol released by MoHUA. The Star Rating protocol is based on 12 parameters and follows a SMART framework – Single metric, Measurable, Achievable, Rigorous verification mechanism and Targeted towards outcomes – and has been devised in a holistic manner including components such as cleanliness of drains & water bodies, plastic waste management, managing construction & demolition waste, etc. which are critical drivers for achieving garbage free cities. In order to give added impetus to cities to accelerate their journey towards a garbage-free status, the Swachh Survekshan 2019 has allocated 20% weightage of marks to the star rating certifications.

Open Defecation Free Protocols:A 5% weightage has been allotted in the Swachh Survekshan to ODF certifications.
Direct Observation (On-field independent observation and collection of data): The collection of data from Direct Observation shall be based on physical observation of the survey agency.
Citizen Feedback will be collected from Citizens directly (face to face), through Outbound Calls, 1969, Swachhata App/Swachh Manch and through Swachh Survekshan-2019 portal. In addition to collecting feedbacks, performance of SwachhataApp will also be evaluated under ‘Citizens Feedback’.

SBM ODF+ & ODF++ Protocols

Over the last four years, there has been a paradigm shift in the way urban sanitation is being monitored under the Mission. Accordingly, MoHUA is now monitoring outcomes (number of ODF wards and cities), rather than outputs (numbers of toilets built). The ODF protocol is being rigorously followed for declaring and certifying ODF status of cities. With 18 states / UTs and 3,223 cities declared ODF, it is time to step up the rigour of the process by putting in place additional parameters to ensure the sustainability and long term impact of the ODF status.

The SBM ODF+ and SBM ODF++ protocols include sustainability aspects including improved access to individual toilets, community and public toilet maintenance, functionality and liquid waste / fecal sludge and septage management (FSSM). While the focus of SBM ODF+ protocol is on sustaining toilet usage by ensuring their functionality, cleanliness and maintenance, the SBM ODF++ protocol focuses on achieving sanitation sustainability by addressing complete sanitation value chain, including safe and complete fecal sludge management. It is expected that this will go a long way in strengthening the overall ODF mandate of the Swachh Bharat Mission and ensure that the long-term impact of ODF is truly achieved.

Swachh Manch (http://www.swachhmanch.in/)

The web-based platform will allow stakeholders to create/invite/participate in volunteering opportunities around neighborhoods. Swachh Manch will enable uploads of pictorial evidence of citizens and organizations participating in the initiatives, as well as record the number of hours volunteered, as acknowledgement of citizens’/organisations’ efforts and contributions to the cause of ‘swachhata’.

This would not only encourage other fellow citizens and stakeholders to do their bit for the cause of ‘swachhata’ but also contribute to accelerating the pace of achievement of our collective dream of a ‘Swachh Bharat’. The Swachh Manch will also be integrated with the existing Swachhata App to act as a citizens’ grievance redressal platform. In the Swachh Survekshan too, data uploaded on the Swachh Manch will be one of the means of verifications for relevant indicators pertaining to IEC and citizen engagement.

Sh. Puri said that over the next four months, MoHUA will conduct regional workshops to ensure that cities are well versed with the survey parameters, and the roles and responsibilities of every municipal staff, so that they are fully prepared to take the survey. The Ministry will also be conducting 80 capacity building workshops across the country on all components of SBM. Parallelly, through the Bureau of Outreach and Communications (BoC), the Ministry will be conducting nearly 1000 on-ground citizen engagement events across 225 cities in the country, to give a massive thrust and impetus to citizen outreach efforts.


The Ease of Living Index is an initiative of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) to help cities assess their liveability vis-à-vis global and national benchmarks and encourage cities to move towards an ‘outcome-based’ approach to urban planning and management. It was decided in June 2017 to rank cities based on the liveability parameters. The implementation of the assessment commenced formally on 19 January, 2018 covering 111 cities.(Annexure I)

Ease of Living framework comprises four pillars namely Institutional, Social, Economic and Physical which are further broken down into 15 categories and 78 indicators.

Evaluation of cities has been done on a 100-point scale across the 78 indicators with the institutional and social pillars carrying 25 points each, 5 points for the pillar on economic and 45 points for the physical pillar. The whole exercise is being carried out on a mass scale and began with a National Orientation Workshop to orient city officials on assessment framework. It was followed by 33 state level workshops spread across all 36 states and Union Territories.

A data entry portal and a monitoring dashboard for real time update on progress was established. The cities submitted data on more than 50000 points. Secondary audit of 10,000 documents, physical audit of 14,000 units and survey of more than 60,000 citizens have been completed which led to finalization of ease of living index.

The Ease of Living assessment standards are closely linked to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and will provide a strong impetus to India’s effort for systematic tracking progress of SDGs in the urban areas. Of the 17 SDG goals, 8 goals are directly linked to India’s ease of living assessment framework with SDG 11 that is aimed at making our cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable being measured through a set of 30 indicators.

Apart from presenting the overall national ranking of 111 cities, the dashboard will present ranking of the cities across pillars, category, geographical zone and population classifications (four classifications of cities based on population include: Classification 1- Cities with population of 4 million and above; Classification 2: Cities with population greater than1 million but less than 4 million; Classification 3: Cities with population greater 0.5 million but less than 1 million; and Classification 4: Cities with population less than 0.5 million). The dashboard will also have a comparison feature that will allow users to analyse the performance across cities on various liveability parameters. Ease of Living Index dashboard is available at https://smartnet.niua.org/.

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