Thane Absence of scientific landfill sites and the failure in processing waste at source are the two main reasons for Thane slipping in Swachh Survekshan 2019. Thane ranks 57th in the list of cleanest cities this year — notches below 40th position last year. Though Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) has ambitious plans for solid waste management, they are merely on paper. Thane also took a beating in garbage-free city. The municipal corporation was eyeing three-star rating, but the surveyors gave a mere two stars. An official from solid waste department said, “This year, the focus was on solid waste management. We lost 1250 points for processing waste and in certification. We were hoping for a three-star rating in garbage-free city certification, but got only two stars as we still do not have a foolproof garbage management system in place. We still dump waste instead of processing it.”The official claimed that the refusal of the housing societies to treat their own solid waste was one of the reasons for the low ranking. “We had asked housing societies to treat their solid waste instead of handing it to us. Some housing societies had even started treating the waste. However, due to opposition from some societies and political pressure, those who were ready to treat also stopped. This has cost us most points in the ranking,” the officer added. The city also does not have any scientific waste treatment site or processing plant. All the waste is dumped in a private land in Diva. The official said, “We had submitted few proposals for the survey, but all of them were on paper. We could not show anything in waste processing. Navi Mumbai and Mira-Bhayander have landfill sites, but we do not.”The budget spent on the civic body on swachh survey this year was Rs2 crore. Activist claimed that the corporation’s failure in addressing the issues of housing societies led to poor ranking. Activist Chandrahas Tawade said, “TMC only sent notices to the housing societies and withdrew them after objection from residents. They did not try to create awareness on solid waste management issues, the way to deal with waste or even hearing out the problems of housing societies. TMC should have first set up a waste treatment plant of its own to set an example. TMC does not have any waste treatment plant.”He added that it was time to implement all solid waste projects to improve ranking. Neglected slums affected rating: ResidentsThough the municipal corporation focused on cleaning the plush areas, the slums are still neglected. Heaps of garbage with pigs rolling in it is a common sight in most slums in the city. Garbage is thrown in nullahs in areas such as Vartak Nagar and Gandhinagar. The civic authorities do not clean the nullahs throughout the year, but only once a year, turning it into a garbage dumping site. Shama Parveen, 30, a resident of Gandhinagar, Thane, said, “Lack of dustbins and irregular garbage collection has turned our area into a dump yard. Residents have no option but to throw garbage into the nullahs. The municipal corporation never cleans this area.”Neeraj Mishra, 32, a resident of Nalpada, said that they had been urging the civic body to deploy garbage vans at a fixed time.