Patiala Chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s home bastion, Patiala, which is also deemed as the Royal City, has largely improved in terms of the Swachh Sarvekshan-2018 rankings that were released by the Union ministry of urban development on Saturday.The city has ranked 183 of total 4,041 urban local bodies surveyed across country this year. The ranking witnessed a jump of 228 positions as last year, Patiala was ranked 411 and was among the dirtiest cities in the country. On the basis of this year’s survey, Patiala has secured 2,152 points of total 4,000.A team from the Union ministry had visited Patiala in February this year and had carried out a detailed survey besides collecting feedback from the residents.“It is a great achievement. There is an increase in the city ranking as far as cleanliness is concerned. All credit goes to the civic body employees and the general public. The municipal corporation officials had carried out awareness campaigns and residents had cooperated in improving Patiala’s ranking,” said MC commissioner Gurpreet Singh Khaira.As per the latest rankings, Patiala is the fifth clean city in the state, preceded by Bathinda as first at 104 rank, SAS Nagar second at 109, Ludhiana third at 137, and Ferozepur at 168. Meanwhile, Hoshiarpur was ranked 191, Amritsar 208, Nihal Singh Wala 213 and Jalandhar 215. After last year’s setback, Khaira said, the MC had worked extensively to improve the ranking. “We had organised many awareness campaigns at schools, colonies, slums and other public places, under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Our efforts have finally yielded positive results,” Khaira said. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan coordinator Amandeep Sekhon said that last year, the municipal corporation had lagged behind in documentation process, which contributed 35% of the total 4,000 points.Patiala MC faced all oddsThe civic body remained on its back foot during the survey and analysis as it lacked in two major components of the survey — the city to be open defecation-free (ODF) and to have a solid waste treatment plant. A senior MC official said that during document verification, the MC had informed the Union ministry’s team that Patiala is yet to be open defection-free. “The city will be declared ODF by October 2018, as the process of providing mobile public toilets is on the cards,” the official said.The solid waste management project is a distant dream as the government has already scrapped the tender process initiated by the municipal corporation, last year. “We lagged behind due to these two components this time, but have come up with initiatives including door-to-door garbage collection and underground litter dumps,” the MC commissioner said. With no door-to-door garbage collection system in place, litter was seen dumped along roadsides and in vacant plots across city. For over 50 years, the waste in the city has dumped in the open at the dumping ground on Sanaur road.Dismal performance last yearThe city was among the dirtiest cities as it was ranked 411 of the 428 cities in the Swachh Sarvekshan-2017 rankings. Out of 14 cities and towns in Punjab that were covered under the Union ministry’s survey, Patiala was ranked fourth from bottom, followed by Batala at 418, Abohar at 427 and Muktsar at 428. Besides the failure of the MC to come up with a solid waste management project, the ministry had cited lack of citizen’s feedback in improving cleanliness level of the city as the reason for poor ranking last year.