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Mumbai drops in the list of Swachh Survekshan 2017

Among the top ten cleanest cities of the country last year, Mumbai has dropped to the 29th place in Swachh Survekshan 2017, though Thane is much worse at 116. The only bright spot in the region is Navi Mumbai, which stood 8th in the cleanliness survey. Other municipal areas in MMR, like Mira-Bhayander (130) and Vasai-Virar (139), are behind Thane.

Mumbai’s poor showing is glaring given the hype with which the BMC launched the city’s Swachh campaign in November. From roping in actor Salman Khan as Mumbai’s face for the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), to declaring the city open defecation-free, the BMC seemed to be pressing all the right buttons. Except that reality didn’t keep pace with image-building.

To be fair to the BMC, it did take a few positive measures: night sweeping was started at a few places and clean-up marshals were brought back to penalize those found littering.

Expressing disappointment at the rankings, Kiran Dighavkar, the BMC’s nodal officer for SBM, said, “We made all efforts from our side, like placing mobile toilets at various locations, especially in parts of Bandra and Juhu, painting walls with cleanliness messages, creating a short film showing how solid waste management workers clean the nooks and crannies of the city, and creating general awareness.”

He said the survey’s changed criteria for this year and the inclusion of hundreds of small cities affected Mumbai’s rank. “In this survey we scored 1,535 marks, while last year it was 1,534—almost the same. So why has our rank dropped? While the last survey was conducted only at 75 cities, this time 434 were considered. Those that are now in the top ten have much smaller populations than Mumbai. Therefore, it’s unfair to compare these two different categories of cities—big and small.”


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