Ahead of Games, MCD 'outsourcing' cleaning of Delhi

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi has backed campaigns by various NGOs in recent days for cleaning the city with the involvement of citizens and students of schools and colleges.

Mayor Prithvi Raj Sawhney has issued several statements "extending support" to a week-long 'clean Delhi' drive undertaken by Art of Living Foundation of spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar which concluded yesterday.

Under a campaign by another NGO 'Let's Do It! Delhi', which was also supported by MCD, citizens' groups undertook cleaning campaigns at two slums -- Ekta Vihar and Pahari Basti -- in the city. The Mayor also attended a cleaning drive organised by Sant Nirankari Mission in Uttam Nagar.

Does it mean that the MCD is admitting that the corporation on its own will not be able to live upto the gigantic task of cleaning the city ahead of the Games? The Mayor disagrees and says no government can be successful without the cooperation of citizens.

"MCD is doing its bit but no municipality can fully tackle problems of sanitation without citizen's cooperation. The workers of MCD will also be motivated to ensure zero garbage in the capital. They should wake up and work harder to clean the city," he says.

During the Art of Living drive, part of an ongoing campaign called 'Meri Dilli Meri Yamuna', over 200 truckloads of garbage were removed by citizens. "Over 75,000 children from 432 schools and 6000 students from 30 colleges took part in it," said Rahul Gautam, 'Clean Delhi NCR' campaign coordinator.

Under the drive, Art of Living will also be installing 200 pairs of dustbins (biodegradable and non-biodegradable) in 41 sites in the city. The Foundation will empower 10 children per participating school as 'clean Delhi champions', who will be given identity cards from MCD, to make Delhi a no-litter zone.

Meanwhile, a group of civil servants carried out the clean-up of Ekta Vihar supported by students from Sanskriti School. A similar drive was undertaken in Pahari Basti area by citizens with help from some students of IIM-Lucknow, Lets Do It! Delhi campaign coordinator Anita Bharghav said.

Under the drive, she said, it has been planned to clean 75 slum areas in the city next Saturday, including Nehru Camp in Govinpuri and Ambedkar Camp in Dakshinpuri. The Sant Nirankari Mission organised cleaning drives at seven places including Jahangir Puri, Hastal, Mukundpur, Jharoda and Bhalsava Dairy on September 10 and 11.

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