India's Prime Minister Modi launches plans for garbage free, water secure cities

Joydeep Bose and Meenakshi Ray

Swachh Bharat, AMRUT 2.0: PM Modi launches plans for garbage free, water secure cities

Written by Joydeep Bose | Edited by Meenakshi Ray, Hindustan Times, New Delhi​ | Published on 1 October 2021

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday launched the Swachh Bharat Mission - Urban (SBM-U) 2.0 and the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) 2.0 mission, two flagship schemes of the central government aimed at making all of India's cities ‘garbage free’ and ‘water secure’. At the launch event, Prime Minister Modi said that the two programmes constitute important steps towards fulfilling the dreams of social reformer Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar. “It is our privilege that today's programme has been organised at the BR Ambedkar Centre,” Modi said. “He believed that urban development was pivotal to equality.”

The Prime Minister said that with the Swachh Bharat 2.0 mission, his government is aiming to make the urban areas garbage-free. “With this second phase, we are also aiming for sewage and safety management, making cities water-secure and ensuring that the dirty drains do not merge into the rivers,” he said. “The garbage mounts in cities will be processed and removed completely as part of the SBM-U second phase.”

Presumably taking a dig at his political rivals, the Prime Minister then said, “One such garbage mountain has been in Delhi for long, it's also waiting to be removed.”

Moving on to talk about the humongous amount of waste products that the country processes each day, Modi said, “Today, India is processing about 1 lakh tonnes of waste every day. When we started the campaign in 2014, less than 20 percent of the waste was being processed. Today, we are processing about 70 percent of the daily waste; the next step is to take it to a complete 100 percent.”

The Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0 envisions a plan to make all cities garbage-free by ensuring grey and black water management in all cities except those covered under AMRUT, a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said. It also aims to make all urban local bodies with a population of less than 1 lakh Open Defecation Free (ODF), thereby achieving the vision of safe sanitation in urban areas. The mission will also focus on source segregation of solid waste, utilising the principles of reducing, reusing, recycling, scientific processing of all types of municipal solid waste, and remediation of legacy dumpsites for effective solid waste management. The outlay of the entire SBM-U 2.0 mission is around ₹1.41 lakh crore.

The Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation 2.0 mission, on the other hand, is focusing on providing 100 percent coverage of water supply to all households in around 4,700 urban local bodies by providing about 2.68 crore tap connections and 100 percent coverage of sewerage and septage in 500 AMRUT cities by providing around 2.64 crore sewer or septage connections, which will benefit more than 10.5 crore people in urban areas.

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Cover Photo of Mumbai, India from Unsplash: