Rank­ings slip, blame game starts

SWACHCH SARVEK­SHAN Sena says NCP is re­spon­si­ble for poor per­for­mance, res­i­dents say the re­sult is a set­back

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - G Mo­hi­ud­din Jeddy ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­times.com

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.”

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