How Mumbai Managed To Bag 'The Cleanest State Capital' Title
The results of a cleanliness survey conducted by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has proven that nothing can dampen the spirit of Mumbaikars when it comes to keeping their city clean. According to the Swachh Survekshan 2018, Greater Mumbai was ranked as the cleanest state capital while Navi Mumbai was recognised as the ‘Best City in Solid Waste Management’ category. Moreover, Maharashtra bags the second spot in the state-wise ranking which is sure to make its citizens swell with pride.
A metropolis where real estate constructions are being bolstered with new infrastructural developments viz. the Metro projects, Mumbai has emerged as a ‘model state’ supported by official data. While announcing the results, Union Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri said that Maharashtra as a state has been declared as Open Defecation Free (ODF) in all urban areas with 92 per cent of its wards covered by door-to-door collection, introduction of plastic waste management rules and 42 per cent of the waste processed scientifically.
Let us look at the facts which make for the success story of Mumbai:
Firstly, the cities were adjudged on the following parameters:
- Collection and transportation of municipal solid waste including segregation of dry and wet waste
- Processing and disposal of municipal solid waste as well as recycling of dry waste
- Sanitation related progress to verify whether city is open defecation free with access to toilet available for citizens
- IEC (Information, Education and Communication) pertaining to campaigns and citizens’ participation
- Capacity building involving trainings for the officials of the urban local bodies (ULBs)
- Innovation and best practices
Efforts paid off
The Maharashtra government and especially the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had intensified the efforts towards urban sanitation and waste management after Mumbai’s rank came down from 10th position in 2016 to 29th position in 2017. The Commissioner of BMC, Ajoy Mehta, credited the state’s efforts towards closure of open garbage dumps and garbage segregation and treatment for this feat. BMC has revealed that it reduced waste creation from 9,500 metric tonnes to 7,100 metric tonnes daily; constructed 1,690 community toilets, 898 community toilets and 1,941 individual household toilets; as well as promoted vermicomposting at 123 places.
The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has led by example for managing the city’s solid waste, whether it was construction debris or municipal waste. Navi Mumbai segregates 88 per cent of its municipal solid waste at source. Recently, the NMMC cracked the whip on those engaged in illegal dumping of debris in the city.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) had been keenly supporting the efforts of municipal corporations and even proposed a plan for recycling of construction waste. The Bombay High Court stopped new constructions and asked the BMC to devise a debris management plan.
Tackling plastic menace has been one of major focus for the Maharashtra government. Eyeing a plastic-free status for the state, the government partially lifted ban on plastic bottles after which the BMC steered an initiative by installing collection centres for plastic waste across the city.
To further ease dumping of waste for the Mumbaikars, the BMC, in July announced that it has plans to tackle health issues and inconveniences caused by the foul smell emanating from open garbage bins. The BMC’s Solid Waste Management department has initiated a pilot project involving installation of sensor-fitted garbage bins into specially-dug pits. The sensor is meant to send an alert when the bins get filled up. Four such bins will be installed at south Mumbai areas, for which the civic body has invited firms through tenders.
Maharashtra close to ODF status
As per government data, Maharashtra had built the maximum number of household toilets of 6.33 lakh under the Swachh Bharat Mission, till November 2017. The state had also built the maximum number of community and public toilets of about one lakh in number. The government urban development department declared Maharashtra as ODF in 2017 while the minister for rural development, Pankaja Munde, had informed that the percentage of toilets in rural areas had also increased from 44 to 88 per cent. With elections around the corner, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has committed to making the entire state ODF by 2019.
Furthermore, systematic waste disposal is a crucial phase of the government’s Clean India Mission, which is why the state government has tightened the noose around the municipal bodies’ neck to put efficient waste management systems in place.