The 1st regional workshop on star rating of garbage-free cities, organized by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) in collaboration with the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) was inaugurated by Meenakshi Lekhi, Member of Parliament in the presence of Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, MoHUA. Naresh Kumar, Chairman, NDMC & V K Jindal, National Mission Director – SBM(Urban) were also present at the event. Addressing the gathering, Lekhi said that a coordinated approach with decentralized solutions should be put in place for tackling the huge generation of municipal waste in the cities. Emphasizing on the importance of public participation in making cities garbage free, she also propounded for enforcing penalties for violators of hygiene and cleanliness principles.    

Durga Shanker Mishra said that along with the annual Swachh Survekshan activity, the star rating of garbage free cities will create a healthy competition among the cities across the countries to achieve the goals of cleanliness and 100% solid waste management.  The day -long workshop was attended by over 250 Urban Local Body (ULB) officials, including mayors and commissioners, from New Delhi, Jammu & Kashmir, Haryana and neighbouring ULBs of Uttar Pradesh. The workshop was held to familiarize and build the capacities of state and city officials and other relevant stakeholders about the newly launched Star Rating Protocol of Garbage- Free Cities by MoHUA, which is a holistic evaluation system for the entire solid waste management (SWM) value chain.

The Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) focuses on two key objectives- eradication of open defecation and 100% scientific solid waste management (SWM) across all 4,041 statutory towns and cities. To continue the momentum on scientific management of solid waste and motivate cities to achieve more cleanliness, the Star-Rating Protocol of Garbage Free Cities was launched by MoHUA on January 20, 2018.

The 7-star rating is innovatively designed on a SMART (Single metric, Measurable, Achievable, Rigorous verification and Targeted towards outcomes) approach – making it the first-of-its kind rating tool for assessing cleanliness of cities and towns in India. The system, based on 12 parameters, builds on the spirit of healthy competition among cities and the aspirations of cities to progress towards higher standards of “Swachhata” and its sustainability. This was the first in a series of 17 workshops scheduled to be held across all states by June 2018 to institutionalize the protocol towards a Garbage Free India.

STAR RATING OF GARBAGE FREE CITIES -Parameters of star rating system

It is a single metric rating system, based on 12 parameters:

  • Door-to- Door collection
  • Segregation at source
  • Sweeping of public, commercial and residential areas (no visible eyesores on streets)
  • Waste Storage Bins, Litter Bins and material recovery facility
  • Bulk Waste Generators compliance
  • Scientific Waste Processing, Scientific Landfilling and C&D Waste Management
  • User Fees, Penalties, Spot Fines for littering and Enforcement of Ban on Plastic
  • Citizen grievance redressal and feedback system
  • Eradication of crude dumping of garbage and dump remediation
  • Cleaning of storm drains and surface of water bodies
  • Waste Reduction
  • Visible beautification in the city.

Key Features of 7-star rating-Designed on a SMART approach:

  • SINGLE METRIC – Rating criteria encapsulates all components of MSWM as well as plastic waste, waste in drains and water bodies
  • MEASURABLE – Criteria under each star rating has measurable parameters (e.g.% of HHs covered by D2D collection, % of waste processed, etc.)
  • ACHIEVABLE – Each criteria and associated parameter has been devised to ensure that it is realistically achievable by cities.
  • RIGOROUS VERIFICATION – Robust 2-step verification mechanism of both self-declaration and third party verification. Cities rated 1, 2 and 4-star must carry out self-assessment and self-verification, while 3-star, 5-star and 7-star cities will need to be certified through an independent third party. Moreover, a city should be ODF before going for 3-star and above certification.
  • TARGETED TOWARDS OUTCOMES – Based on verifiable outcomes rather than inputs and processes (e.g. remediation of dumpsites, regular sweeping, collection of user charges, etc.)

Strengths of star rating protocol

  • Outcome-based tool rather than process based, hence will enable institutionalization of good practices such as source segregation, scientific waste processing, penalties & spot fines for littering, and compliance of bulk waste generators, etc.
  • Designed to enable cities to gradually evolve into a model (7-star) city, with progressive improvements in their overall cleanliness.
  • At the 7-star level, 3R components of 3R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) incorporated.


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