When Union urban development ministry ranked Navi Mumbai third among 476 cities on sanitation practices, the residents were not surprised.
The spic and span public places, its sewage water treatment system and solid waste management have earned the planned city the recognition.
Navi Mumbai is the only city from Maharashtra to figure in the top ten list in the survey conducted by the central government under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
The list has been published by the Central urban development ministry following a survey of 476 cities in the country to check on the cleanliness in each of them. All the cities in the list have a population of over 1 lakh and are all class 1 cities.
Municipal commissioner Dinesh Waghmare attributed the status to the several projects undertaken by the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation.
“Navi Mumbai has recently been shortlisted amongst the top ten cities of the state to compete for the Centre’s smart city project. With it figuring at number 3 in the country and first in the state for sanitation services will further enhance its reputation,” said Waghmare.
In 1971, the state government entrusted City and Industrial Development Corporation to develop into a new township. Over the years, the satellite township has grown in leaps and bounds. The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) was formed in 1992.
He added, “In the past two decades, the NMMC has taken decisions which have ensured that the city has the requisite infrastructure of a modern city and the projects have fulfilled the parameters on which the various cities in the country were judged.”
Mayor Sudhakar Sonawane said that surplus water is one of the reasons to make the city the most sought-after place to live in. “The NMMC is the only municipal corporation in the country to have purchased its own dam after Independence. Morbe dam has ensured 24 hours water supply in almost all the areas of the city,” said Sonawane.
While Navi Mumbai has a population of 12 lakh people, Morbe dam has the capacity to supply enough water for a population of 30 lakh. The excess water would soon be sold to neighbouring cities.
The municipal corporation has taken care to keep the city’s clean roads. Automated cleaning machines regularly clean the important roads in the city.
The city’s six state-of-the-art sewage treatment plants play a significant role in protecting the city’s environment.
Sonawane said: “Treated water which is almost drinkable quality is released into the city’s creeks. It is now being used at NRI colony for gardening purpose and will be recycled for similar use at other places soon.”
He added that efforts are on to ensure that they do not release even the treated water into the creek. “It will be used for watering the gardens and also sold to those who want it for their gardens,” he said.
The city has scored over others as it has a scientifically developed dumping ground at Turbhe. The waste is being recycled to produce fertilizer and there are also plans to generate power.
Sonawane said: “Mumbai, Thane, Kalyan-Dombivli and several neighbouring cities are facing a major problem of dumping grounds for city’s waste. NMMC has developed a scientific landfill site.”
Planned and coordinated transportation of garbage to the landfill site which had been stuck due to various issues too has been resolved after clearances from the state government. Sonawane said: “Garbage collection and transportation are an integral part of solid waste management and we are doing well in this aspect too with modern garbage collecting vehicles.”
Even as the municipal corporation officials bask in the new recognition, they pledged to improve the existing facilities to make the city a better place.
“We plan to provide better people-oriented services to ensure Navi Mumbai is not placed third but tops the country not just in cleanliness but in every field,” said Sonawane.