Cleanliness survey for villages across India launched

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The Jal Shakti Ministry on Thursday launched the Swachh Survekshan Grameen 2021, a survey of cleanliness, hygiene and sanitation to boost the government’s push for Open Defecation Free (ODF) Plus status for villages.

The Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS) will undertake the countrywide survey to support the acceleration of ODF Plus interventions and increase momentum for improving ODF sustainability as well as solid and liquid waste management activities.

DDWS had commissioned the Swachh Survekshan Grameen (SSG) in 2018 and 2019.

Minister of State in the Jal Shakti Ministry Prahlad Singh Patel, who presided over the e-launch of Swachh Survekshan Grameen, 2021 under phase two of Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen), said India achieved the massive challenge of declaring all villages open-defecation free in a mission mode in five years.

Phase two of Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) aims at achieving the goal of comprehensive cleanliness by addressing open-defecation free sustainability and solid and liquid waste management issues, he said.

Patel added that the findings of the survey by a third party agency will help in bridging the gaps by identifying challenges on the ground and by working with all states.

Citizen feedback will strengthen the programme. A mobile application for Swachh Survekshan Grameen 2021 will also be made available in major local Indian languages, the minister said.

He also released the SSG 2021 protocol document, SSG 2021 dashboard and the mobile app for citizens feedback.

Secretary in the Jal Shakti Ministry Pankaj Kumar said Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave a clarion call for Swachh Bharat in 2014 and a nationwide behaviour change movement was launched with two primary yardsticks of transparency and people’s participation.

Following these yardsticks, the programme succeeded in achieving its goal of ensuring access to safe sanitation for all in rural India, he said.

“The Swachh Survekshan Grameen 2021 will also help in coming over the challenges due to Covid pandemic and achieve ODF Plus status by our villages in the near future,’ Kumar said.

Arun Baroka, Additional Secretary of DDWS in the Ministry of Jal Shakti, said the past experiences of Swachh Survekshan Grameen has shown that it fosters a very healthy competition among districts and among states to improve their rankings.

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