Indian Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs launched the ‘Protocol for Star Rating of Garbage-Free Cities’ in Goa.
The star-rating initiative, developed by the Swachh Bharat Mission – Urban will be rating cities on a 7-star rating system based on multiple cleanliness indicators for solid waste management, which will include Door to Door Collection, bulk generator compliance, source segregation, sweeping, scientific processing of waste, scientific land filling, plastic waste management, construction and demolition management, dump remediation & citizen grievance redressal system etc.
Cities can be rated as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 star based on their compliance with the protocol conditions specified for each of the rating. Further city should be ODF(Open Defecation Free) before it could be given rating of 3 star or above. While cities may self-declare themselves as 1-star, 2-star or 4-star, MoHUA will carry out an additional verification through an independent third party to certify cities as 3-star, 5-star or 7-star. Cities will need to get recertified themselves every year to retain their star-status.
The most significant feature of the rating protocol is that it provides stakeholders with a single metric to rate a city’s cleanliness, rather than separately evaluating multiple factors which contribute to a city’s overall cleanliness and garbage free status.
The SMART rating (Single metric, Measurable, Achievable, Rigorous verification, Targeted towards outcomes) is characterized by Trust and verify model and sustainability (progressive and to be recertified every year).
The protocol will involve the participation of all stakeholders and common people to aspire for higher grading in cleanliness. The Swachh Survekshan survey run by the SBM Urban for the past three years has successfully built up a spirit of healthy competition among cities, vying with each other every year to improve their ranking as compared to other cities.
The distinctive feature of Star Rating System will be that many cities can have higher stars as compared to only one city can be “Cleanest city” under Swachh Survekshan.
SBM-Urban’s objective of achieving a ‘clean India’ is encapsulated in the Vision statement of the star-rating protocol, stating that “All cities achieve “Garbage Free” status wherein at any point of time in the day, no garbage or litter is found in any public, commercial or residential locations (including storm drains and water bodies) in the city (except in litter bins or transfer stations); 100 per cent of waste generated is scientifically managed; all legacy waste has been remediated and city is scientifically managing its municipal solid waste, plastic waste and construction & demolition waste.
Additionally, there must be a steady reduction in the waste generated by the city and visible beautification of the city to achieve a clean & aesthetically pleasing city”. It is expected that the Star-rating initiative will be another effective tool for achieving the objectives of Swachh Bharat Mission of “Open Defecation Free and Garbage Free India”.