For the fourth successive year, Jammu, the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir, has been declared one of the dirtiest cities of the country by the Union Ministry of Urban Development under the “Swachh Survekshan-2020”.
The city got the 224th position among 382 cities and towns of the country, having a population of less than 10 lakh. While Ambikapur of Chattisgarh tops the list with 5428.31 points, Jammu got 2284.16 points.
“Last year, we were at the 318th position from where we jumped to 224th position this year. Hopefully, things would improve in the coming years,” Mayor of the Jammu Municipal Corporation, Chander Mohan Gupta, told The Tribune. He, however, said the cleanliness drive in Jammu had got a severe setback due to the Covid pandemic.
Gupta 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 these bodies, it is not possible to deliver on the expectations of the people,” he said.
As the BJP has an absolute majority in the Jammu Municipal Corporation, the Opposition has stepped up its attack on the former for its “failure” to implement the Prime Minister’s “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan” in Jammu.
“The Bharatiya Janata Party has done nothing for people of the Jammu region who had voted overwhelming in its favour in successive elections,” Pranab Shagotra, Congress leader, said, adding that “instead of focusing on ensuring cleanliness in the city, the BJP leadership was befooling people on irrelevant issues”.
Sources said although the city had improved its rank from 318 to 224 this year, the declaration of Jammu as one of the dirtiest cities had landed the BJP in a difficult situation since the party had been claiming that the city would be declared “Smart City” very soon as it fulfilled the criteria for the same.