The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), on Tuesday, released the star rating for garbage free cities in India. The star rating of Garbage Free Cities (GFC) is an initiative launched by the MoHUA that envisions to enable cities to gradually evolve into a model (7-star) city, with progressive improvements in overall cleanliness. A total of 1435 cities applied for the star rating in 2020, out of which, 698 cities cleared the criteria. Among the cities in Andhra Pradesh, Vijayawada and Tirupati bagged a three-star rating while Visakhapatnam was handed over a one-star rating as part of the garbage free city survey.
The Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) competed in the three-star rating category. Reportedly, the city could only secure 200 marks out of 1000. In 2019, Visakhapatnam managed to grab two stars in the garbage free city star rating.
Out of 698 cities which cleared the desktop assessment in 2020, 141 cities have been certified with star rating during field assessment. Along with Vizag, Chirala, Palamaneru, and Sattenapalli from the state also got a single star rating as part of the star rating of Garbage Free Cities. Ambikapur, Rajkot, Surat, Mysore, Indore, and Navi Mumbai were declared as GFC with a five-star rating each. New Delhi, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Jamshedpur, Bhilai Nagar are among the other three-star garbage free cities of the country.
The Garbage Free Cities was introduced by the Central Government as a part of Swachh Survekshan, an annual cleanliness survey. In order to institutionalise a mechanism for cities to achieve garbage free status, a seven-star rating protocol is defined, which builds on aspirations of cities to progress towards higher standards of swachhata (cleanliness). The star rating conditions are based on 25 key parameters across the solid waste management spectrum. They have been designed to help cities assess their progress while encouraging them to move towards a better rating, thereby improving the cities’ overall cleanliness and aesthetics.