Hardeep Singh Puri made major promises to improve Delhi's sanitation scenarioHardeep Singh Puri made major promises to improve Delhi's sanitation scenario
Highlights
  • 5 lakh community and 67 lakh household toilets to be built in Delhi by 2019
  • Hardeep Singh Puri stressed on behavioural change for sustained cleanliness
  • Waste segregation has spread to 4,200 cities: Ministry of Urban Affairs

New Delhi: Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri committed to the construction of 5 lakh community toilets and 67 lakh individual household toilets in Delhi. A mere 8,000 individual household toilets and 165 community toilets have been built in Delhi under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Urban) in the last four years. The sluggish progress of the national capital in improving its sanitation scenario was one of the points of discussion at the Delhi Regional Workshop for Swachh Survekshan 2019, inaugurated by Hardeep Singh Puri. Speaking at the workshop, Mr Puri said that along with construction of toilets, waste management is also an integral part of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

Delhi’s performance in Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has been mediocre, as despite being the national capital, the municipal corporations have not performed well in four years of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. While the New Delhi Municipal Council has consistently ranked well in urban cleanliness surveys, the performance of East, North and South Delhi Municipal Councils has been riddled with several problems. All the three municipal councils have declared themselves as open defecation free (ODF), but number of individual household and public toilets constructed has been low in number, questioning the ODF declaration by the civic bodies.

Stressing on the necessity of behavioural change, Mr Puri said that such change was required in large scale across rural and urban areas, to make the country cleaner. The Union Minister also said that behavioural change towards safer and better sanitation had additional impacts such as gender empowerment, working towards the dignity of the girl child and maintaining the greenery and cleanliness of cities. Focus on construction of toilets is necessary, but equal attention should be paid to solid waste management.

New Delhi Municipal Council’s (NDMC) good performance, which resulted in the civic body bagging the first position in the northern zone among cities with 1 to 3 lakh population, found praise in Hardeep Singh Puri’s speech. The Union Minister said that he hoped that NDMC will secure the number one position in the next edition of Swachh Survekshan.

Also present at the event was Meenakshi Lekhi, Member of Parliament from Delhi. Ms Lekhi said that for Delhi to better its cleanliness scenario, management of plastic waste is a must. She urged people in Delhi to reduce plastic usage to ensure that plastic’s contribution towards pollution is lessened.

There is a need of the hour to come forward to reduce, reuse and recycle plastic waste. This is how we can ensure that the planet is environment friendly, said Meenakshi Lekhi.

The Ministry of Housing Affairs informed that the urban wing of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan was on course to meet the open defecation free (ODF) deadline by October 2019. Waste segregation, which covered only 73 cities in 2016, had now increased to covering 4,203 cities. The Ministry said that by 2019, waste segregation will be done in all cities across India.

Also Read: Union Ministry Launches Swachh Survekshan 2019, Survey Toolkit, ODF+ And ODF++ Protocol, Swachh Manch

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollutionclean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.

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