Navi Mumbai has bagged the third position in the annual cleanliness survey, Swachh Survekshan 2020, four positions up from its rank in the previous year, while Mumbai ranked a distant 35th. Although Mumbai's rating has improved this time, from No. 49 last year, the city once again failed to make it to the list of top 25 cities, a feat it had accomplished in 2018, bagging the 18th slot.
The results were announced by Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri during an online ceremony held on Thursday.
Of the six cities in the country to receive a five-star rating for being garbage-free, Navi Mumbai is the only city in Maharashtra to achieve this feat, while Mumbai, aiming for five this year, miserably failed to improve on its three-star rating of last year, earning a zero. However, satellite city Navi Mumbai also received an 'ODF Plus Plus Rating'.
Challenging the Swachh Survekshan’s zero-star rating in the garbage-free city section, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has written a letter to the Centre, pointing out loopholes in the rating process.
The results for this section were declared by the Centre this week, wherein the BMC failed in one of the parameters -- “sweeping of public, commercial and residential areas”. The civic body had also questioned the credibility of the third-party auditor in May.
A total of 4,242 cities across the country participated in the 'Cleanliness Survey 2020', and Navi Mumbai was adjudged the 'third cleanest city in the country' and the first cleanest city in Maharashtra. Of the total 6,000 marks, with equal weightage for citizen feedback, direct observation, certification for garbage and being open-defecation free (ODF), Navi Mumbai scored 5,467.89.
While dedicating the national honour to the citizens of Navi Mumbai, Municipal Commissioner Abhijit Bangar said Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has always maintained the number one position in the state and has always bettered its national rating. “Continuing the trend, the corporation jumped from the seventh rank in the 'Swachh Survey 2019' to the third rank in 'Swachh Survey 2020',” said Bangar.
He added that the corporation achieved this feat because of its citizens, who understand the meaning of hygiene and maintain it in their daily lives.
The use of technology and a hundred per cent garbage lifting helped the NMMC achieve the feat. The city generates around 700 metric tonnes of garbage (MT) per day. Earlier this year, a central team visited the city thrice and conducted a survey of garbage collection, transportation, and disposal. A senior official from the solid waste management department of the NMMC said that a third-party team appointed by the Central government inspected documents and also visited various places and inspected the cleanliness and waste segregation. The Central teams also visited various places without giving any prior notice and interacted with the locals and collected their views.
Household waste is segregated into wet and dry at source and transported in vehicles fitted with RFID chips for proper monitoring of waste transportation. In addition, many societies, industries, hotels, industry groups, which generate a large amount of waste every day, have implemented wet manure projects in their premises. Fertiliser projects were started in all schools and parks of the NMMC. The 'Zero Waste Slum Model' was successfully implemented in the slum area at Ram Nagar and Digha, among others.
As part of the Swachh Sarvekshan 2020, the civic body had initiated “My Waste-My Responsibility” campaign and involved citizens. In addition, many other initiatives, like competitions, rallies, painting, essays, writings, oratory, short films, Swachh Society and Swachh Hospitals were undertaken.