Prime Minister Narendra Modi has forwarded letters to industrialists, sportsmen, celebrities urging them to participate in the ‘Swachhata Hi Seva’ movement. However, the government’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is merely seen as a photo-op event where politicians and celebrities are more interested in seeking publicity on October 2. The next day people forget about cleanliness as huge pile of garbage is visible on the road as nobody seems to bother about disposing them. In many localities of the city garbage remains unattended for many days as people have to bear the foul smell emanating from them.
Last year too, the Modi government had organised the cleanliness campaign with much fanfare but it failed to sustain. Even Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh had arrived in Mumbai but he was seen cleaning those areas which were already well maintained. The government also had levied Swachh Bharat cess on taxable services but the money generated out of it is not used for maintaining cleanliness. Last month, Mumbai had witnessed heavy rainfall as many parts of the city were flooded due to garbage thrown in the nullahs. Thus, the government will have to do much work on ground, overhaul the garbage collection policy and effectively implement waste segregation plan to prevent flooding.
The Modi government had launched the Swachh Bharat Mission to make India open defecation free by 2019. However, the toilet construction work is happening at a snail’s pace in rural and urban areas; hence, the government will not be able to achieve its objective of defecation free India.
Dattatray Vithoba Bharne, NCP MLA said, “Swachh Bharat Mission must be undertaken throughout the year and it should sustain taking into consideration the health of citizens. The BJP government has made cleanliness campaign into a photo-op moment which is unjustified. The government should not try to take mileage out of this issue.”
Arjun Khotkar, Shiv Sena leader and Minister of state for Dairy Development said, “After the government had undertaken the Swachh Bharat Mission lot of changes has been visible in the state and centre. Plenty of garbage will be generated daily however steps must be taken for the speedy disposal of waste. The civic body and state government have been working hard for maintaining cleanliness.”
Kshitij Thakur, Bahujan Vikas Aghadi MLA from Vasai said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken a right initiative to invite celebrities and sportsmen for Swachh Bharat campaingn. Three years ago people used to throw waste on the roads but now they are aware about the perils of disposing waste in public places. Citizens too should participate in this campaign and it should continue in future too.”
Madan Yerawar BJP MLA said, “PM Modi is leading from the front and this campaign has become a people’s movement. We are creating awareness campaign among citizens pertaining to the importance of maintaining hygiene. Modi has taken everyone together for joining this initiative. He is the first Prime Minister who delivered a speech from Red Fort mentioning about the importance of cleanliness and construction of toilets. People have started becoming aware about it.”