Swachh Survekshan 2018 to incorporate sustainable waste management practices

Last year's survey encouraged unviable practices giving preference to centralised waste management

By Neha Walani
Published: Tuesday 01 August 2017
Segregation of waste at source and decentralised waste processing practices have been added in the survery criteria (Credit: Sadia Sohail)

The paramenters and methodology of the Swachh Survekshan survey have been changed for its second edition to include sustainable waste management practices. Launched on July 31 by the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), the Swachh Survekshan 2018 will be the first pan-India survey to measure citizen connect with sanitation outcomes, concerning 40 crore people. In the survey’s launch event, the MoUD said the parameters have been changed after consulting city and state governments and experts. Results of the survey will be released in January-February 2018.

This year, the survey will cover 4,041 cities or towns, a big jump from last year’s 434 cities with population above a lakh. The 2018 survey will add 3,607 towns with less than one lakh residents. State and zonal ranks will be calculated for these towns, apart from national ranks.

Cities will be evaluated on 71 parameters, each holding maximum marks as per its importance. In a total of 4,000 marks, weightage of citizen feedback has been increased from 30% to 35% in the survey, and direct observation has increased from 25% to 30%, while service level progress has decreased from 45% to 35%. The Survekshan 2018 puts more emphasis on continued improvements, assessing cities as per completion of their long-term cleanliness and sanitation commitments.

Segregation of waste at source, liquid waste management, maintenance of community/public toilets and decentralised waste processing practices have been added in the survery criteria to promote sustainable actions. The financial sustainability and feasibility management methods employed will also be considered.

MoUD has introduced negative marking for misreporting of information by civic bodies after several cases of false documentation in the previous survey came to light. Survey questions have been clearly defined to avoid ambiguity.

The component-wise weightage has been altered: processing and disposal now accounts for 25%, a 5% increase from last year; new component of innovation weighing 5% has been added. The weightage of collection and transportation has been reduced from 40% to 30% this year.  

Schools and hospitals will also fall under the ambit of this survey. The 2018 survey will focus on compliance with the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016. Focusing on enforcement, this survey will also quantify and reward the outcomes of notifications issued by state and city governments regarding collection of user charges, sale and marketing of compost, linking of biometric attendance to payroll of sanitation staff, incentivising performance further to GPS tracking of garbage collection vehicles, maintenance of public toilets through third party etc.

Survekshan 2017 did not fit in the expectations as it encouraged non-segregation. However, with an increase in ambit from over 500 cities to 4041 cities, the accuracy of these rankings will be questionable. Although the Urban Ministry has filled in major gaps in its questionnaire, Survekshan 2018 will have to ensure cities segregating at source, and investing in sustainable solutions are pushed up the ladder.

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