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TOG NEWS

Govt launches app for waste collection & management
By TOG News Service
Aug 13, 2019

TOG NEWS SERVICE, NEW DELHI, AUG 13, 2019: THE Mr Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Housing & Urban Affairs, today launched the Swachh Survekshan 2020 (SS 2020), the fifth edition of the annual cleanliness survey conducted by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA). Alongside, the Swachh Survekshan 2020 Toolkit, SBM Water PLUS Protocol and Toolkit, Swachh Nagar – an integrated waste management app and AI enabled mSBM App were also launched. The event was webcast live for states and cities to witness the launches from across the country.

Speaking at the launch event, Mr Puri drew attention to the launch of the Swachh Survekshan League 2020 (SS League 2020) with the objective of sustaining the on ground performance of cities along with continuous monitoring of service level performance on cleanliness. He added that today's event for launching the Swachh Survekshan 2020, with field survey to be conducted in January 2020, is particularly significant since it gives the opportunity to reaffirm once again our promise for a Clean, Garbage Free and Sanitary New India, by not only sustaining the gains that has been made under the SBM, but also by providing a roadmap to institutionalize the concept of total Swachhata among all cities. The Swachh Survekshan 2020 Toolkit launched by the Minister contains the detailed survey methodology and component indicators with scores to help cities to prepare themselves for the survey.

Moreover, in line with the focus on continuity and sustainability, a major focus of SS 2020 indicators, both for the quarterly and annual assessments - has been on complete faecal sludge management and waste water treatment, in line with the Government's promise made in its election manifesto. Reiterating its commitment to the cause, the Ministry also launched the Water PLUS Protocol and the accompanying Toolkit. Moving beyond ODF, ODF+ and ODF++, the Water PLUS protocol aims to provide a guideline for cities and towns to ensure that no untreated wastewater is released into the environment thereby enabling sustainability of the sanitation value chain. This is in line with the Government's focus on water conversation and reuse under the Jal Shakti Abhiyan and also aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals on clean water and sanitation. The toolkit provides the detailed SBM Water Plus protocol laid down by MoHUA, along with declaration formats to be obtained from various stakeholders, that wards / work circles (in case under jurisdiction of development authority) and cities are required to submit, as part of the SBM Water Plus declaration and certification process.

SS 2020 would be conducted in January 2020.  A major thrust of Swachh Survekshan has always been on citizen engagement, be it through citizen feedback or indicators involving citizen participation. This year, the citizen-centric focus has been enhanced substantially through verification of the progress made by cities on Swachhata through direct responses from citizens.  Continuing with its focus on providing integrated waste management solutions to Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) and citizens, MoHUA also launched the Swachh Nagar Mobile App. This app, with features such as tracking of waste collection by ULBs through route and vehicle monitoring, notification to citizens, online collection of user fee for waste collection and an effective grievance redressal mechanism, would be the answer to several issues that hinder effective waste management such as lack of monitoring, collection of segregated waste, and tracking the movement of waste vehicles and waste pickers, amongst others.

The event also saw the launch of AI enabled mSBM App, a mobile app developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) that helps detect the beneficiary face and toilet seat in the photo uploaded using Artificial Intelligence (AI) model at the backend. This app would not only facilitate the applicants of Individual Household Toilets (IHHL) under SBM-U know the status of their application in real-time after uploading the photograph but also help them upload the correct photo. The App would also help the respective ULB nodal officer to verify and approve the application thereby significantly reducing the processing time for applicants.