“Will quit if UT does not implement Swachh Puducherry”. The New Indian Express dated 22.08.2016.
Shouldn’t Ms Bedi know better? Doesn’t she remember Lalit Bhanot’s (in)famous hygiene remark? She ought to know that we Indians, as a nation, are dirty people. We thrive in filth. Of course most Indians keep their houses clean. But they think nothing of throwing garbage on their doorsteps. They think it is the government’s job to clean the streets and their right to spread filth.
The Prime Minister launched Swachh Bharat nearly two years ago. Almost all the netas proudly participated in photo ops. Did it make any difference? Hardly, I should say. And the reason is that the common man has not joined the mission. People still throw garbage in the open, not only in the villages but in cities too. Drains choke with large quantities of polythene, garbage and muck. Rivers of urine flow from public urinals on to the roads. Mountains of garbage can be seen in posh colonies and markets of our cities. Garbage bins, wherever provided, overflow and the muck spills over to the ground around inviting flies and other carriers of disease. If and when garbage is collected to be disposed of, it is done in open trucks which, in turn, spread it evenly all over.
So what should be done to make Bharat swachh?
First and foremost, provide sufficient numbers of designated places/garbage bins etc. in all localities. If short of funds, utilize money collected through Swachh Bharat Cess (which, in any case, has given some people the right to say that keeping their surroundings clean is the government’s job, as if paying SBC gives them a right to litter) for the purpose.
Secondly, make arrangements to collect and dispose of garbage regularly in covered trucks so the roads are not littered with muck.
Thirdly, device ways and means to make the common man accept and join Swachh Bharat mission. It is not humanly possible to educate and make a nation of 125 crores aware in foreseeable future. Incentives will not work. Desperate remedies are required in case of desperate needs. Talk to common man in the language he understands. The language of money. Make it known that those who spread garbage will have to pay heavy fines. Impose collective fines on villages/mohallas/colonies/RWAs.
Last, but not the least, implement all the above faithfully, diligently, impartially, honestly and fearlessly (fear of losing vote banks).