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Nagpur 20th in country in latest Swachh rankings

Nagpur 20th in country in latest Swachh rankings Nagpur: After the disappointment of not being included in the list of 20 Smart Cities, the city has a reason to smile. Nagpur improved its rank to 20th in the Swachh Survekshan-2016 conducted under the Swachh Bharat Mission. The state's second capital ranking is among the 73 cities with population of 10 lakh or more or capital cities.
In more good news, the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) was awarded top mover of the West and Central Zone and second best in nation for rising 40 places from the 60th rank (256th of total 476 cities) received in 2014's survey. However, the civic body missed its target of featuring in the top 10 cities due to poor solid waste treatment and community, public and household toilets.
The central government's ministry of urban development had conducted the survey based on cleanliness, hygiene and sanitation in January. The city stood sixth among ten cities of the state in the list.
Union minister of urban development M Venkaiah Naidu presented the award to mayor Pravin Datke in a programme organized on Monday at New Delhi. Additional municipal commissioner Nayana Gunde, chairman of health consultative committee Devendra Meher and health officer (sanitation) Pradip Dasarwar also received the award with Datke.
Datke told TOI that efforts would be taken to feature in the top ten cities next year. "The credit goes to NMC office bearers, officials, sanitary workers, citizens and NGOs. We will plan and motivate everyone to improve our position for the next time," he said.
The city obtained 1,349 of total 2,000 marks in the ranking, in which Mysuru in Karnataka ranked first.
NMC's efforts in improving services and infrastructure bore fruits to some extent. As per the assessment reports, the city benefited from good management in sweeping roads and streets along with door-to-door garbage collection and transportation. But it got a setback in garbage treatment as the solid waste treatment plant is functioning at 20% of its installed capacity. Improper and unclean public and community toilets, and no individual household toilets in around 10,000 houses also affected the rankings.
Leader of opposition Vikas Thakre appeared unimpressed at the city's ranking. "The city received award for the best in the state and stood among top ten cities during the Congress rule in the central and state. We were trying to get the city into the top five in the nation. Unfortunately, BJP took the city down to 60th position in 2014 and now it has risen to 20th," he said.
Thakre added that the opposition will be staging a demonstration in front of the NMC on Tuesday to know the reasons behind debacle.
Municipal commissioner Shravan Hardikar said, "We improved from last year and need more improvement. We have started work on improving solid waste treatment. We set target to make the city open-defecation free by October 2. I appeal to citizens to support the NMC in growing up in cleanliness by avoiding throwing of garbage or waste on streets and prevention from open defecation," he said.
One of the major reasons behind achieving growth in ranking was better coordination with the team that arrived in the city for survey in January. NMC engaged NGO Centre For Sustainable Development, led by Leena Budhe, for providing data and showcasing the works done in last one year. In 2014, the NMC health department had not even bothered to provide data to the survey team which proved very costly for the city.
Mistakes in govt's report
The city scored 1,349 out of a possible 2,000 marks but the figure was written as 1,348 in the result sheet released by the Ministry of Urban Development. However, the error makes no difference for the city in ranking. Hyderabad, which placed before Nagpur, is 6 marks ahead. In another goof-up, union minister of urban development M Venkaiah Naidu announced the list of top ten movers in cleanliness in which the city is in the second position. However, the list of top ten movers comprises names of only nine cities.


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