Prelims level : Environmental Impact Assessment Mains level : GS-III Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment.
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  • Recently, the Union Ministry for Housing and Urban Affairs has published the results of the Swachh Survekshan survey.

 About Swachh Survekshan Survey:

  • First launched in July 2017 it is a ranking exercise taken up by the Government of India to assess rural and urban areas for their levels of cleanliness and active implementation of Swachhata mission initiatives in a timely and innovative manner.
  • The objective of the survey is to encourage large scale citizen participation towards making towns and cities a better place to live in.
  • The survey fosters a spirit of healthy competition among towns and cities to improve their service delivery to citizens, towards creating cleaner cities and towns.
  • The Ministry of Urban Development takes up the Swachh Survekshan in urban areas and the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation in rural areas.
  • The Quality Council of India (QCI) has been commissioned the responsibility of carrying out the assessment.

What are the Concerns?

  • Infrastructural Bottlenecks:One of the main components of the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) is the Solid Waste Management (SWM) which requires huge investment in the setting up of Sewage treatment plants (STPs).
  • However, most of the urban local bodies have failed to effectively manage their garbage which is evident in the rising mountain of garbage at the Ghazipur landfill in Delhi.
  • Hence, there is a need to provide extended funding to the states for creating the necessary infrastructure for the management of the wastes.
  • Absence of Integrated outlook:Most of the Urban Local bodies work in silos and adopt a narrow outlook towards the improvement of cleanliness and sanitation.
  • They have failed to realize that Swachh Bharat cannot be successful unless there is an integrated outlook which takes into account all the holistic view of housing, sanitation, water-supply, waste management and transport.
  • Lack of Emphasis on Circular Economy: Across the world, there has been growing emphasis on the circular economy to reduce the human footprint and improve the natural environment.
  • Under the circular economy, maximum emphasis is on 3Rs- Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Going forward, the Survey must give highest weightage to this dimension for the ranking of the cities.
  • This would foster competitive spirit among the cities for adoption of the circular economy in their policies.
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