Infrastructure & Safety

Clean is a dirty word for India’s municipal bodies


“There are no proper jobs and no cleanliness,” is how Dinesh Kumar, a 20-something guide outside Fatehpur Sikri Fort narrated the plight of the youth in Uttar Pradesh in the midst of the parliamentary elections. Sikri is on the tourism map twined with Taj-in-Agra. Kumar lamented how the filth and squalor around his city was an embarrassment, particularly when foreign tourists come. For a youth in UP to be talking about ‘safai’ (cleaning) was a surprise and showed how voters have moved from the basic issues of bijli, paani, sadak to demands for better life and livelihood, reports New Indian Express.

With his ears to the ground, it is perhaps this new urge among the voters that Narendra Modi picked up while extensively campaigning for the parliamentary polls. So one of the first announcements that he made in Parliament after the landslide victory was: “Let’s clean India by 2019, Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary.”

The Swachh Bharat campaign launched by Prime Minister Modi, broom in hand, could well become the most iconic shot of his tenure. But Swachh Bharat or Clean India would not just require a mind-set alteration and an engaging campaign by Modi, but a large-scale municipal reform in the cities and the small-towns across the country.


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