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Urban Affairs Ministry launches operational guidelines for SBM 2.0 & AMRUT 2.0

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Hardeep Singh Puri

In another move to boost cleanliness, sustainable development and accessibility to clean drinking water and sanitation facilities, Union Minister for Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) Hardeep Singh Puri launched operational guidelines of Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) – Urban 2.0 and AMRUT 2.0, on October 27.

The guidelines came almost a month after the ceremonial launch of SBM-Urban 2.0 and Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) 2.0 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 1, 2021. Meanwhile, on October 5, the stakeholder consultations took place on the two flagship missions of the Centre at Lucknow (during the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations of MoHUA), while the Cabinet nodded for the missions on October 12, 2021.

The SBM-U 2.0 and AMRUT 2.0 guidelines have been designed after multiple rounds of stakeholder consultations and feedback from them. The guidelines have been designed under the overarching guiding principles that include equity and inclusiveness to ensure that the missions’ benefits reach all sections of society, focus on capacity building, extensive digital enablements for implementing every component of the Mission.

Speaking at the occasion, the Minister said the second phases of both the missions are set to transform the country into a “swachh” country. The country had become ODF in 2019, on the basis of third party verification and it will now move to ODF+ and ODF++. The Minister said that movement from ODF to Garbage-free will bring about major changes in the ecosystem. He said that AMRUT Mission was earlier covering only 500 cities and the same will now expand to all the cities. He said that the scheme will not only provide water tap connections, it will also help in the realisation of the real value of water. Describing the launch of guidelines as the Diwali gift to the citizens of the country for a clean environment, he said that these are being issued within four weeks of the launch of the mission. Puri lauded the States and ULBs for participating in both the missions wholeheartedly and also signing the tripartite MoU in such a short time.

The Minister of State for MoHUA Kaushal Kishore said that SBM became a people’s movement and ushered a change in their habits and attitudes. He addressed the event through a virtual platform. He said that the Prime Minister himself led from the front and this helped in the large-scale mobilisation and involvement of people. He said that provisioning of the 24X7 water supply in cities by AMRUT will provide big relief to urban dwellers.

Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) – Urban 2.0

The budget outlay of SBM-U 2.0 is Rs 1,41,600 crore. The launch ceremony witnessed the signing of a tripartite MoU of States/UTs and nearly 4,800 ULBs with MoHUA, within a 24-hour timeline. As per the MoU, the Government of India, in partnership with the States/UTs and ULBs is committed to making all cities ‘Garbage Free’ and ‘Water Secure’, in order to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 which will ultimately improve the quality of life and ease of living of urban populations, thus leading to urban transformation.

Also Read: Urban Affairs Ministry awards ‘Water Plus’ certification to 3 cities in Andhra Pradesh

In line with the vision of the Prime Minister, SBM-U 2.0 has been designed to realise the aspiration of making all our cities ‘Garbage Free’. This will signify a step forward in the march towards effectively addressing the challenges of rapidly urbanising India while contributing towards the achievement of the SDGs 2030.

SBM-U 2.0 envisions to make all cities ‘Garbage Free’ and ensure grey and black water (used water) management in all cities other than those covered under AMRUT, making all ULBs ODF+ and those with a population of less than 1 lakh as ODF++ and Water+ thereby ensuring that no untreated used water is discharged in open to pollute water bodies, thus achieving the vision of safe sanitation in urban areas. The Mission will also focus on source segregation of solid waste, utilising the principles of 3Rs (reduce, reuse, and recycle), scientific processing of all types of municipal solid waste and remediation of legacy dumpsites for effective solid waste management.

Over the last seven years, the Mission has reached all corners of the country and has changed the lives of countless citizens with its ‘people first’ focus. The Mission has revolutionised the sanitation space in urban India by building over 70 lakh household, community and public toilets, thus providing safe and dignified sanitation solutions for all. The Mission has prioritised the needs of women, transgender communities and persons with disabilities (Divyangs).

Taking the journey forward, the Mission is moving on the path of sustainable sanitation with over 3,300 cities and over 950 cities being certified ODF+ and ODF++ respectively, and nine cities certified Water+, which entails treatment of wastewater and its optimum reuse. The thrust on scientific waste management is evident with waste processing in India going up by over four times from 18 per cent in 2014 to 70 per cent today. This has been aided through 100 per cent door-to-door waste collection in 97 per cent of wards and source segregation of waste being practised by citizens in letter and spirit across 85 per cent of wards. More importantly, the Mission has been able to bring about a marked difference in the lives of sanitation workers and informal waste workers. The active participation of 20 crore citizens (comprising over 50 per cent of India’s urban population) in the program has successfully transformed the Mission into a people’s movement, a true Jan Andolan. The launch of operational guidelines of SBM-Urban 2.0 has set the stage for States/UTs and ULBs to begin the next phase of their journey towards transforming Urban India.

The guidelines issued by the Ministry on the SBM-U 2.0 are available on www.swachhbharaturban.gov.in

Atal Mission for Rejuvenation & Urban Transformation (AMRUT) 2.0

AMRUT 2.0 targets providing household water tap connections in 4,700 statutory towns and household coverage of sewerage/ septage services in 500 AMRUT cities. The total indicative outlay for AMRUT 2.0 is Rs 2,99,000 crore which includes the allocation for projects of ongoing AMRUT Mission to the tune of Rs 22,000 crore for five years from FY 2021-22 to FY 2025-26. The total central share is Rs 86,760 crore including Rs 10,000 crore for AMRUT projects.

Also Read: Access to energy must be affordable & reliable: Hardeep Singh Puri

AMRUT, the first focused water mission was launched in June 2015 in 500 cities. In the spirit of “Transformation to Saturation”, the Prime Minister of India launched AMRUT 2.0 on October 1, 2021. The mission is a step towards achieving water-secure cities to support the spirit of Aatmanirbhar Bharat. As many as 2.68 crore new household tap connections and 2.64 crore sewer connections/ coverage with septage management are proposed under AMRUT 2.0.

Under the AMRUT 2.0, cities will submit City Water Balance Plans (CWBPs) online on a robust Mission portal of MoHUA. CWBPs will give the status of water availability, water demand and supply in the city culminating in gaps in services. With the target of filling these gaps projects will be formulated in the form of the City Water Action Plan. These plans will be aggregated at the State level in form of a State Water Action Plan (SWAP). Mission mandates implementation of 10 per cent worth of funds allocated to over a million cities in PPP mode. Taking up projects on 24×7 water supply in 500 AMRUT cities that have a population above one lakh is encouraged.

Pey Jal Survekshan, Information, Education & Communication (IEC), Technology sub-Mission and Capacity Building are also key components of Mission. Pey Jal Survekshan will assess the quality and quantity of water supplied to the citizens and will instil healthy competition among cities to provide better water-related services to the citizens. IEC campaign targets to convert water conservation into a Jan Aandolan. Start-ups in the water sector will also be encouraged through the technology sub-mission. Capacity building program shall impart training to elected representatives, municipal functionaries and a larger audience comprising contractors, managers, plumbers, plant operators, workmen, consultants, students, women and citizens.

Funding will be done to the States and Union Territories for project implementation, Administrative & Other Expenses. Project funds will be released in three instalments of 20:40:40. Implementation of reforms on Property Tax and user charges is mandatory to get uninterrupted funding from the third year onwards. Cities will also submit City Aquifer Management Plans with a focus on maintaining a positive groundwater balance in aquifers. Mission will also fund the outcomes achieved through sources other than AMRUT. Mission management will be paperless and completely online. Under the gig economy model, the mission will co-opt women and youth for concurrent feedbacks about its progress. Mission also has a reform Agenda targeted towards strengthening municipal governance and water security of cities. Major reforms are reducing non-revenue water to below 20 per cent; recycling of treated used water to meet at least 20 per cent of total city water demand and 40 per cent for industrial water demand at the State level; 24×7 water supply with ‘Drink from tap’ facility; rejuvenation of water bodies; GIS-based master plans of the cities and efficient town planning; credit rating of cities and raising funds through the issuance of municipal bonds. Successful implementation of reforms will be incentivised.

(With inputs from PIB)

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