The field assessment for seventh consecutive edition of world’s largest urban cleanliness survey, Swachh Survekshan (SS), was launched on March 1 by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA).
Designed with ‘People First’ as its driving philosophy, Swachh Survekshan 2022 is curated towards capturing the initiatives of cities for the overall welfare and well-being of frontline sanitation workers. The survey, flavoured with the Azaadi@75 spirit, will also give priority to the voices of senior citizens and young adults alike, and reinforce their participation towards upholding the cleanliness of urban India.
SS was introduced by MoHUA in 2016 as a competitive framework to encourage cities to improve the status of urban sanitation while encouraging large scale citizen participation. It has led to a spirit of healthy competition among cities and towns of India. The journey that started in 2016 with only 73 cities with million plus population, has grown manifold, with 434 cities in 2017, 4,203 cities in 2018, 4,237 cities in 2019, 4,242 cities in SS 2020 and 4,320 cities in SS 2021, including 62 Cantonment Boards.
MoHUA formally kicked off the SS 2022 survey on 1st March 2022 with around 3,000 assessors of the Assessment Agency – Ipsos Research Pvt. Ltd., ready to go on the field to assess the performance of cities. The scope of the survey has been expanded to now cover 100% wards for sampling, as compared to 40% in previous years. In order to seamlessly carry out this ambitious exercise, SS 2022 will see a greater number of assessors than deployed last year for the on-field assessment. Cities have been regularly filling in their data, updating their progress in the Swachhatam Portal MIS along with running several citizen centric campaigns in preparation of SS 2022.
This year’s Survekshan is special as it coincides with celebrations of the 75th year of India’s independence. In keeping with the theme of Azaadi@75 and to pay tribute to the wisdom of the elderly, SS 2022 will aim to capture feedback from senior citizens as an integral part of the survey. To ensure diversity of voices, SS 2022 will also reach out to young adults who are the future leaders of the country and the Swachhata movement. Additionally, to commemorate the 75 years of progressive India, ULB’s joined hands with citizens to identify at least one Chauraha/Roundabout in their respective cities that can be thematically decorated to showcase the spirit of the glorious 75 years of India’s independence. This is a new indicator in SS 2022.
This year another new indicator ‘Swachh Technology Challenge’, launched by MoHUA on 6th December 2021, has been added in SS 2022. As part of this challenge, individuals/organizations and start-ups submitted innovative solution under four thematic categories, viz, (i) social inclusion, (ii) zero dump (solid waste management), (iii) plastic waste management and (iv) transparency through digital enablement, across all Urban Local Bodies.
SS 2022 is committed to creating a level playing field for smaller cities by introducing two population categories under 15K and between 15-25K. To further expand the Survekshan footprint, district rankings have been introduced for the first time.
The sudden onset of the pandemic brought with it unprecedented challenges in the areas of public health, sanitation, and waste management. However, what stood out was the indefatigable sense of duty that sanitation workers have displayed to keep urban India safe during this time. In order to recognize and honour the contributions made to the nation by the silent army of sanitation workers, the Government has repledged to focus on their holistic welfare. SS 2022 has incorporated specific indicators that drive cities to improve working conditions and livelihood opportunities for these frontline soldiers in urban India’s sanitation journey.