In an embarrassment for those, who claim of developing Jammu into a model city, the winter capital of J&K has been ranked among the dirtiest cities in the country for the fourth successive year in the ‘Swachh Survekshan -2020’ released by the Union Ministry of Urban Development.
Jammu with 2284.16 points ranks 224 among 382 cities and towns of the country with a population of less than 10 lakh.
Ambikapur in Chattisgarh tops the list with 5428.31 points.
“Last year, we were ranked 318. From there, we have jumped to 224. Hopefully, things will improve in the coming years,” Mayor of the Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC), Chander Mohan Gupta, told.
Gupta, however, claimed that the cleanliness drive in Jammu received a severe setback due to the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.
He said unlike other parts of the country, Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) in J&K were powerless. “We don’t even have permanent staff. Without empowering the ULBs it is not possible to match the expectations of the people,” he said.
As BJP has an absolute majority in the JMC, opposition parties have stepped up the attack on the ‘Saffron Brigade’ for its failure to implement the ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ in Jammu.
Although the city has improved its rank from 318 to 224 this year, declaration of Jammu as one of the dirtiest cities has landed BJP in a difficult situation because the party had been claiming that Jammu would be declared as ‘Smart City’ very soon as it fulfills all the criteria.