Rankings slip, blame game starts
Sena says NCP is responsible for poor performance, residents say the result is a setback
CBD BELAPUR: While politicians and Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation had hoped that the city would be ranked the cleanest in the country, in the central government list, the city has slipped to the 12th position. The mayor, however, has hinted at partiality.
The union ministry of urban development on Monday released a list of 73 cities, with a population of over 10lakh, in descending order of their cleanliness. While last year, Navi Mumbai had been ranked as the third cleanest city in the country, this year’s dip has left residents dismayed.
“There is a need to analyse the list. How did Mumbai, that was ranked 140 last year, suddenly jump to the 10th rank?” said mayor Sudhakar Sonawane.
He said, “No other city from the state had made it to the top 100 last year and now three have gone ahead of us. I do not want to blame anyone but there seems to be some partiality or mistake which needs to be checked.”
He said, “We have all the qualities to be in the top 10. The only grey area was public and individual toilets, where they had expected better action. There were issues with the tenders and some doubts on individual toilets which have been sorted out now and we will implement them in the next twothree months.”
“We believe that we are among the top 10; our city is clean and will stay clean. We are not competing with anyone, others are competing with us,” said Sonawane.
“We are behind Mumbai by just two points. We seem to have erred in taking the inspection committee to the wrong places. In Mumbai strict instructions had been given to all the ward officers. It is shocking for us as we have the latest technology in place,” said an NMMC official.
Shiv Sena workers have blamed the ruling Nationalist Congress Party ( NCP) for the slip in ranking.
Shiv Sena corporator Kishore Patkar said, “The NCP leaders here are solely responsible for this slide in ranking. Decisions are not taken and personal egos have taken over.”
He said, “The problems of sanitation workers have been unresolved for years. There are graduates sweeping our streets. Aren’t they hurt over being ignored while others shine in the limelight and claim credit? This has reflected on the situa- tion on the ground.”
Patkar said he had proposed to the general body demanding that educated children of sanitation workers be given preference in jobs in the civic body.
Sanjeev Gupta, a Vashi businessman, said, “While we were resting on our laurels, other cities took serious measures to improve sanitation and hygiene in their areas.”
He said, “It is ridiculous to cast aspersions on the ranking. Varanasi, which is the prime minister’s constituency, has been ranked one of the dirtiest cities.”
He added, “After the setback of the smart city project this is another jolt for the city. I hope lessons are learnt.”