A special team from the Quality Council of India (QCI) set up by the Union Ministry of Urban Development, who was here to "verify" sanitation and hygiene conditions concluded its visit today.
The team as a third-party assessor was to verify the conditions in the city as to whether it qualifies to be declared as "open defecation free plus and garbage free city".
During its week-long stay, the team randomly inspected public and religious places, markets, bus stands and other locations.
Based on the assessment, the QCI will make recommendations to the union ministry for cities to be certified as ODF plus and garbage free cities, said an official. "Then, the ministry will issue 'Swachh Certification' to the city based on QCI recommendation".
The QCI's visit to Srinagar is a part of SwachhSurvekshan 2021 (cleanliness survey 2021). It is a nationwide annual survey of cleanliness, hygiene and sanitation in cities and towns.
The first survey was undertaken in 2016 and covered 73 cities; by 2020 the survey had grown to cover 4242 cities and was said to be the largest cleanliness survey in the world.
In a bid to scale up the coverage of the ranking exercise and encourage towns and cities to actively implement mission initiatives in a timely and innovative manner, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) is now in the process of conducting the sixth edition of the survey to rank all cities under Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban.
An SMC official informed that in the last one year, the civic body has worked hard to provide individual and community toilets under the government schemes and improved the quality of sanitation.
The official informed that the QCI prepares a dashboard which provides all the findings and results of the survey including category wise scores in service level status, evidence based pictures and citizen feedback evaluation for all participant cities.
"The survey offers a comprehensive assessment of the level of cleanliness, and the respective Municipal Corporation's level of preparedness in urban India and would help the government to mentor and guide cities on the basis of needs and gaps," he said.
SMC Chief Sanitation Officer MudasirBanday while confirming the visit of QCI team, said: "We are hopeful that improved qualities of sanitation and hygiene in Srinagar will rank us among top ten cities in cleanliness survey 2021."
In August, this year, Srinagar has done remarkably well, moving to 36th rank from last year's 357th position in cleanliness survey. Jammu has secured 224th position in overall ranking against last year's 329.