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Swachh Survekshan 2022: Pune’s rank drops to nine, citizens’ body seeks white paper

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), saw its ranking drop to the ninth position, from last year’s fifth, in the Swachh Survekshan 2022 in the category of cities with a population of over 10 lakh. Following the city-wise rankings announced on Sunday, the Sajag Nagrik Manch in Pune has urged the civic body to release a white paper on the city’s efforts towards cleanliness.

In 2021, the PMC’s ranking had improved to five after the civic body found itself in the 17th position in 2020 in the category that had 45 cities. It has ranked second in the state in the category, with Navi Mumbai topping the list. The PMC, however, retained the 3-star rating and ODF++ certification under the open-defecation free initiative.

Municipal Commissioner Vikram Kumar said the civic body had taken a lot of effort to improve its ranking, but in vain. “We will take more efforts for next year’s survey,” he said.

Earlier, the PMC had secured 37th rank in 2019, 10th rank in 2018, 13th rank in 2017 and 11th rank in 2016. Following its drop to the 37th rank in 2019, the civic administration had come under sharp criticism from political parties as well as citizens’ groups.

Vivek Velankar of Sajag Nagrik Manch said that due to the drop in the PMC’s ranking, there is a need to provide an explanation on the Rs 800 crore being spent by the civic body for solid waste management every year. “When are we going to take lessons from Indore city which has bagged the first rank for six years. The Indore Municipal Corporation had generated revenue from its waste management,” he pointed out.

Velankar alleged that though Pune undertook several initiatives for solid waste management, it only proved beneficial for contractors. He added that there has been no power generation from the 25 biogas plants set up by the civic body, which were later scrapped after wasting Rs 50 crore of public money.

“There is no will at the administration-level or political-level to keep the city clean as they only focus on colouring the walls for beautification. The administration should take the responsibility for the dropped rank and release a white paper on the PMC’s performance in 20 years,” he said.

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