Released two years after it was announced, the Swachh Bharat fund promised to the corporations by the union urban development ministry are being utilised now — with Rs 95 lakh being allotted for outdoor advertisements, including radio ads, hoardings and banners. The civic bodies — which have been reeling under a financial crisis over the last two years — were given approximately Rs 100 crore of the promised Rs 500 crore in the 2016-17 financial year from the Centre via the state.
However, the amount could not be spent then. This year, the North corporation has begun spending the fund by rolling out initiatives under the information, education and communication (IEC) heads. North corporation officials said they are expected to spend approximately Rs 2.40 crore on IEC-related outdoor advertisements this year. This excludes print and television ads, since the Centre undertakes those on its own.
IEC expenditure is part of the corporation’s sanitation efforts. According to officials, the funds will also be utilised for solid waste management, capacity building and construction of toilets.This effort includes expenditure of approximately Rs 17 lakh on metro feeder buses, putting up nearly 200 hoardings at a cost of Rs 25 lakh and radio advertisements worth Rs 26 lakh.
North municipal corporation mayor Preety Agarwal said awareness with regard to sanitation is a priority and “involving the public in this effort is absolutely necessary.” She added that the campaign will inculcate a sense of responsibility among the public and help the corporation in realising its sanitation goals.