After the union urban development (UD) ministry announced a fresh and intensive national cleanliness campaign on the birth anniversary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya, the capital’s civic bodies have put in place initiatives to implement the ministry’s order ‘in letter and spirit’.
UD Minister Venkaiah Naidu’s letter directs civic bodies to meet expenditure on these activities from the “information, education and communication” component of the Swacch Bharat Mission funds. However, the corporations are yet to receive the promised Rs 500 crore under the fund.
Instead, they have been meeting Swacch Bharat expenses from their own funds, increasing the financial strain on the cash-strapped North and East civic bodies.
To ensure proper implementation of the initiative, the corporations have issued orders to all deputy commissioners and heads of departments to carry out activities as per a detailed list.
Naidu’s letter stated that the Prime Minister “has desired once again … that a nationwide campaign be organised with the participation of all sections of society to rekindle mass awareness and to ensure lasting behavioural change to achieve the goal.”
The anniversary celebrations will have two broad themes this year. First, an increased emphasis on the Swacch City Plan (SCP) and the second, showcasing the progress made so far.
The ministry stated, “Keeping the SCP as the focal point of all activities, the city can showcase the progress made so far and inform the citizens of the roadmap ahead.”
To refocus public attention on the campaign, the ministry also advised municipalities to effectively use mass, digital and direct media. As of now, the corporations are preparing hoardings to advertise their achievements. A report card on the city level will also be put up on their websites. Ward-level marathons, essay and debate competitions will also be organised to propagate the progress of the mission.