In MMR, by comparison, Thane maintained last year’s 14th rank while Navi Mumbai slipped a rank to fourth from third in 2020. They were ranked among 48-odd cities with a population of more than 10 lakh.
Navi Mumbai, though, has bagged the “cleanest big city” award in the country by achieving the first rank in the category of 10 to 40 lakh population. It has also become the second best performing city in India, for which its civic corporation, NMMC, got a Rs 6 crore reward.
Maharashtra ranked second in the category of states with more than 100 urban local bodies while retaining its second rank last year among the best performing states.
Swachh Survekshan 2021, under Swachh Bharat Mission, is conducted by the ministry of housing and urban affairs every year.
A total of 10 cities in the state have featured in the list apart from Navi Mumbai, Thane and Mumbai. Pune, for instance, has ranked 5th, Aurangabad 22, Nagpur 23, Kalyan-Dombivli 25, Vasai-Virar 29, Nashik 17, Pimpri-Chinchwad 19. The state, in an official statement, said it was proud to have bagged 40% of the awards. While Pune has ranked 5th among cities with 10 lakh-plus population, it is 8th among those with 1 lakh-plus people.
Mumbai had ranked 10th in 2016 Swachh ranking.
Thane civic officials said their stable ranking was due to an increase in public toilets as well as good public feedback and solid waste maintenance. Several residents, though, disagreed. Sushila K, a Ghodbunder Road resident, said, “The city has atypical demography and it is difficult to judge it as the most clean or not, as area-wise it changes. For instance, most slum pockets are unclean while upscale areas are being maintained by the societies.”
Sangeeta Hasnale, deputy municipal commissioner, BMC, in charge of solid waste, said the award for the best mega city in innovation and best practices was for the various projects the civic body has undertaken, such as converting waste into cooking gas and also encouraging compost pits in housing societies for treating garbage.
On the dip in the overall ranking, Hasnale said, “Much of our focus was on fighting the virus and therefore we were unable to represent the city up to the mark.”
NMMC chief Abhijit Bangar, on the overall fourth rank, said, “The competition was very tough this time and despite that we bagged the top rank in the 10-40 lakh population category. As far as overall cleanliness award is concerned…we left no stone unturned to get into the overall top three cities but narrowly missed out. ” Mumbai scored 2,021 out of 6,000 marks.
(With Nishikant Karlikar)