Navi Mumbai civic officials receiving the award.
Swachh Survekshan ranks 500 cities across India
Mumbai: Navi Mumbai has been ranked the eighth-cleanest city in India, according to the Swachh Survekshan survey 2017, improving its performance from last year, when it was ranked twelfth. The city not only made it to the top ten in the country (out of 500 cities) but has also come first in Maharashtra and the entire western Zone.
The award was announced on Thursday by Union Minister for Urban Development, M. Venkaiah Naidu. Mayor Sudhakar Sonawane, Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) Commissioner Dr. N. Ramaswami and other civic officials attended the award ceremony in Delhi. The civic administration has credited the achievement not just to its efforts to keep the city clean but to its making residents a part of the process.
Additional Municipal Commissioner Ankush Chavan said, “Last year, with the initiative of the then-Commissioner Tukaram Mundhe, we had started the initiative of segregation of dry and wet waste. Initially it was a huge inconvenience for residents, as they were not used to it, but we conducted meetings and made them understand that it is their responsibility also to keep the city clean. Now more than 90% of the waste from Navi Mumbai is segregated.” Mr. Chavan said that installing and repairing toilets and introducing e-toilets had also contributed. He promised that the administration would continue work at the same pace and would get even better results next year.
In 2014-2015, Navi Mumbai was third in the country, “But back then the parameters were different,” said Deputy Municipal Commissioner Swacch Bharat Mission Tushar Pawar “The competition now was very tough with so many cities participating.”
The Swachh Survey evaluated around 500 cities across India, and the results were assessed by the Quality Council of India, specially set up for the survey. The competition was out of 2000 marks, out of which 600 marks was given for public feedback through various mediums.
“At every meeting residents were asked to download the Swachhata-MoUD application and were asked to give feedback and to also be vocal about the issues they face,” said Mr. Pawar. “This year, we focused on putting an end to open defecation, by assigning a squad to catch hold of offenders and fine them.”
Tukaram Mundhe, who until recently was NMMC Commissioner, tweeted, “The cleanest cities of India as per 2017 Sarvekshan, NMMC in top ten, only one from Maharashtra, also for the cleanest city in west Zone with more than 10 lakh population. Well done NMMC.” Mr. Mundhe had strong support from Navi Mumbai resdients during his tenure, and many credit the achievement to the initiatives he had started.
Barkha Punjabi, a resident of Vashi, said, “Navi Mumbai deserves this for the way Mr Mundhe had initiated various cleanliness drives and beautification of the city. In my stay of around 36 years in Navi Mumbai, I had never seen a Commissioner like him who was so dedicated for the city. His ‘Walk with the Commissioner’ programmes let the residents know the city well and the Commissioner know the residents well. It is when we travel to Mumbai we realise our city so much cleaner and better.”
“I have always loved Navi Mumbai,” said Lalita Chandel, a software professional from Nerul, “Recently, Navi Mumbaikars have increased their awareness and responsibility to keep the city clean. They understand the importance of having a clean and green environment and the efforts have now paid off. Garbage segregation and awareness of compost has played a major role in this.”