Mumbai has been declared the cleanest state capital in the Swachh Survekshan 2018, announced on Wednesday. Navi Mumbai won the award for being India’s best in solid waste management among cities with a population of over 10 lakh. Indore, Bhopal and Chandigarh were declared the cleanest cities. In addition, Maharashtra is the second-best performing state.
The plaudits came after Mumbai’s status as open defecation-free was revalidated in October 2017, one of the most important criteria in the ranking.
With Mumbai’s rank dropping from No. 10 in 2016 to No. 29 in 2017, the BMC had taken steps to improve the city. This year, however, only the top three national ranks were announced and the survekshan followed the practice of “one city, one award”. This meant that if a city has bagged an award in a category, the next best city gets the honour in another. “It was a conscious decision not to give more than one award to one city. You have to wait to get the details of rankings of all cities, including the ones that did badly,” an official said.
There is waste dumped all over the city. It is lined with debris. What is clean about this city? It is nothing more than a well-managed award,” said Rajkumar Sharma, an activist who has filed a PIL against the BMC over the city’s soild waste management crisis.
On the other hand, the BMC maintained that it deserved the status. According to the civic body, several measures have contributed to its better show this year— reduction in waste creation from 9,500 metric tonnes to 7,100 metric tonnes daily; vermicomposting at 123 places; compulsory waste segregation by bulk generators and construction of 1,690 community toilets; 898 community toilets and 1,941 individual household toilets.