Amaravati: Tirupati and Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh have been certified as three-star cities by the ministry of housing and urban affairs in its assessment of garbage-free cities.

During the assessment year 2019-2020, the Centre awarded five stars to six cities – Ambikapur, Rajkot, Surat, Mysuru, Indore, and Navi Mumbai. The two cities from Andhra are among 65 cities that were awarded three stars.
The minister of state in-charge of urban affairs, Hardeep S. Puri, said, “We have devised a star rating protocol for garbage-free cities. Every ward in a city must achieve a certain standard across 24 components of solid waste management. These cities are graded based on overall marks received.”
Cleanliness of drains and water bodies, plastic waste management, and managing construction and demolition waste are some of the critical drivers for achieving garbage-free city certification.
In Andhra Pradesh, Chirala, Vizag, Palamaneru, and Sattenpalle were certified one-star cities. No city from Andhra and Telangana were in the list of five-star garbage-free cities
In the current phase of the star rating assessment, 1,435 cities had applied and feedback of 1.19 crore citizens was taken. Around 10 lakh geo-tagged pictures were also collected. The field assessors visited 5,175 solid waste processing plant. Only 698 cities cleared the desktop assessment and 141 cities were given five-star, three-star, and one-star rating after field assessment.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ministry of urban affairs has issued guidelines to all states and cities on the cleaning of public places. Directions were also issued regarding the collection and disposal of bio-medical waste from quarantined households.
The ministry said a special micro-credit facility for the street vendors is being launched to support nearly 50 lakh vendors and affordable rental housing complex for urban migrants is also being launched.

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