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Drop poop, pay Rs 50,000: NGT tells airlines

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal (NGT)’s principal bench has ordered airlines to clean up their act or pay a price. In an order passed on Tuesday in the bizarre case of human waste falling from the skies in Vasant Enclave, South Delhi, the NGT said that airlines will be penalized Rs.50,000 if they are found to be dumping excreta mid-air. The amount collected from penalties should be used for environmental protection, the NGT added.A three-member bench, headed by justice Swatanter Kumar, passed this order while hearing a petition filed by Lt.Gen (Retd) Satwant Singh Dahiya, a resident of Vasant Enclave.In his petition, Dahiya said that excreta had repeatedly fallen from airplanes in and around his house, defacing the compound and walls. The petitioner contended that the dropping of human waste from aircrafts was in violation of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and a threat to health of residents. In his petition, Dahiya had also sought a 24-hour helpline to report incidents of airplanes dropping waste and to monitor such incidents.In its order, NGT has asked the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to issue a circular to all airlines. “DGCA shall also issue directions that aircraft on land shall be subjected to surprise inspection to check if the waste tanks are not empty. Those airlines found to be violating the circular or if with empty tanks should be liable to an environment compensation of Rs 50,000 per default,” the bench said.Earlier, the NGT had asked pollution watchdog Central Pollution Control Board to collect samples of waste from the petitioner’s house to test if it was indeed human excreta. The CPCB tested the samples and said that it human excreta. While issuing directions, the green panel expressed surprise over the CPCB report, saying, “We are surprised to note the stand of CPCB to the extent of coliform and the kind of splashes created on the houses of the petitioner as well as others clearly demonstrate that it was human excreta.”The NGT also slapped a fine of Rs.5,000 on the ministry of civil aviation and environment ministry for not filing inspection report on the petition.

Will chant ‘Modi, Modi’ if demonetization eliminates corruption and black money: Kejriwal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that if demonetization would “eliminate” corruption and black money, he would chant “Modi, Modi” while reiterating his demand that the Prime Minister withdraw it or else the country’s “economy will be destroyed”.Kejriwal said the Prime Minister changes his clothes several times in a day but he preaches to people to sacrifice some time due to demonetization.”Due to demonetization, labourers, farmers and traders have been ruined and people are losing their jobs, but PM is busy with changing dresses several times. Modi ji whatever you say, you should implement it first on you,” he said.Addressing a gathering of traders in Bawana, Kejriwal said he has differences with the Prime Minister on several fronts, but if he does good works like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Yoga Day, he will find us standing with him.”If demonetization would really eradicate corruption and black money, I will also chant ‘Modi, Modi’. We had put our lives at risk during anti-corruption movement with Anna ji.”We had welcomed the Prime Minister’s move for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and Yoga Day, surgical strikes, but Modi has done wrong by introducing demonetization and we will oppose it,” Kejriwal said when some section of traders chanted “Modi Modi”.They (BJP) will ruin the country’s economy and there is no earliest solution being seen to the chaos created due to demonetization, he also said.Kejriwal alleged that PM has brought demonetization to “benefit” his corporate friends who had taken huge loans.Later in a video posted on a social networking website the Delhi Chief Minister reiterated his demand that PM withdraw demonetization.”PM has sought 50 days from the people to remove their problems arising out of the demonetization, but the Finance Minister said that it needs six month to make all things in place. Even Modi ji and Jaitley don’t know solution.. ,” he said.Taking a dig at PM for his remark over a WhatsApp video showing beggar using a swipe machine, Kejriwal said that BJP should stop “accepting” money in cash.”80 per cent of donation of the BJP comes in cash. Prime Minister should first stop this. 92 per cent of Aam Aadmi Party comes from cheques and other methods…Modi has fixed a limit of Rs 2.5 lakh for wedding.”I want to know from Modi ji whether his ministers and party MPs get marriages of their daughters and sons at an expenditure of Rs 2.5 lakh. Several shops and industry have been closed,” he said.

PM Modi’s Mann Ki Baat: Top 13 quotes from today’s address

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday thanked citizens and banks across the nation for accepting demonetization and braving the following inconveniences, while accusing the opposition in a veiled attack, of misleading the nation over the scheme. The Prime Minister, in the 26th edition of his Mann Ki Baat address, also spoke on the burning issues of Kashmir unrest and hailed the valour of the Indian Armed Forces.Here are his top quotes from his address:1. Every jawan was touched by the unique and novel way the entire nation dedicated this Diwali to the Indian Armed Forces.
ALSO READ PM Modi’s Mann Ki Baat: Build a bright future for Kashmir’s children 2. Village heads from Kashmir visited me earlier to discuss the issue of development in their respective villages, but I conveyed them to turn their focus on the schools being burnt in the Valley and save the bright future of our children.3. I received overwhelming requests from across the nation to explain my decision behind scrapping Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes.4. The moment I had announced demonetization, I had warned that this was not an easy step and people will be inconvenienced.5. The corrupt are incorrigible and are still looking for unfair means to stock black money. But what is saddening is that they are doing so by exploiting the poor.6. Despite demonetization, the sowing of crops have soared and I want to thank our hardworking farmers for this.7. I want to hail our Banking system for their tireless service of the people in the present situation.8. It is a matter of great happiness and pride for me that the nation has welcomed demonetization.9. This major decision of mine is especially for the betterment of the poor, farmers, and the labourers.10. The youth are the agents of change and I appeal to them to carry forward this scheme with zeal and spread the message of embracing digital banking.11. Common man will be trouble free if they are made aware of the digital financial transaction options, the youth can do this quickly.12. The poor have started using Rupay Card, which was not used that frequently after November 8 decision and since then, nearly 300% development has happened.13. Amitabh Bachchan wrote to me – “Swachh tan, swachh mann, Swachh Bharat, mera parichay”.

India has highest number of urban-dwellers with no access to safe, private toilets: Report

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the breakneck speed of expansion of cities, India has the greatest number of urban-dwellers in the world without safe, private toilets and practising open defecation though the government has made sanitation a priority, a report by a global NGO says. “India ranks top for having the greatest number of urbanites living without a safe, private toilet. 157 million as well as the most urban dwellers practising open defecation 41 million,” the report by WaterAid, a UK-based charity working in the field of safe water and sanitation, says.The second annual analysis of world’s toilets ‘Overflowing Cities The State of the World’s Toilets 2016’, released on the eve of World Toilet Day being observed tomorrow this year, also says the high population density of urban areas means that diseases spread fast in the absence of good sanitation. The report says the problem was so big that the daily waste produced on the streets of India’s towns and cities was enough to fill eight Olympic-sized swimming pools, or 16 jumbo jets with poo every day.Noting that the country was going through the largest rural-to-urban migration of this century, it says Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat (Clean India) campaign recognises the country’s health and wealth largely depends on towns and cities growing in a sustainable, equitable way. “In today’s India, 381 million people a population roughly the size of Western Europe live in rapidly expanding urban areas, and 157 million of those people have nowhere decent to go to the toilet,” it says.Even though the government has made sanitation a priority, the numbers of urbanites living without sanitation has swelled by 26 million since year 2000 as cities expand at breakneck speed, the report, which examined the problems facing more than 700 million urban dwellers around the world living without decent sanitation, says. An estimated 100 million of these have no choice but to defecate in the open– using roadsides, railway tracks and even plastic bags, dubbed ‘flying toilets’. WaterAid’s Director of Programmes & Policy, Avinash Kumar, said India’s rapid and unplanned urbanisation has resulted in various developmental challenges. “… Current rates of urbanisation and meeting the increasing demand for basic services may make achieving Sustainable Development Goals a problem,” he said.Kumar said there was a vital need for an integrated approach towards urban planning that prioritises provision of basic services like clean water, safe sanitation and sustainable faecal sludge management by ensuring eople’s participation. “This is the only way to create a healthier and more sustainable future,” he said. The Swachh Bharat Mission and Smart Cities Mission are good government initiatives, but they need to take into account the ability of Indian cities to absorb and handle the projected population growth in urban centres, Kumar added.The report examines the state of city sanitation around the world, an issue becoming more pressing as two-thirds of the global population are expected to live in towns and cities by 2050.According to it, War-ravaged South Sudan, the world’s newest nation, is the worst country in the world for urban sanitation in percentage terms. An estimated 84 per cent of urbanites have no access to a toilet and every other urban-dweller there practises open defecation, it says.Africa’s biggest economy, Nigeria, is falling furthest behind in reaching its urban population with a toilet. For every urban dweller reached with sanitation since 2000, two were added to the number living without, an increase of 31 million people in the past 15 years.The report, however, says fast-growing China is making the most progress in reaching its urban population with sanitation. “It’s managed to build toilets faster than the pace of new arrivals, reaching 329 million people since 2000, and outpacing population growth by 9 million,” it says.The high population density of urban areas means that diseases spread fast in the absence of good sanitation. One child dies every two minutes from diarrhoeal diseases caused by dirty water, poor sanitation and hygiene.Globally 159 million children under five have their physical and cognitive development stunted; many of such cases are caused from repeated bouts of diarrhoea attributed to dirty water, poor sanitation and lack of hygiene.The report suggested that everyone living in urban areas, including slums, to be reached with a toilet to ensure public health is protected. It also suggested more money, better spent from governments and donors on sanitation, clean water and hygiene for the urban poor.It stressed the need for coordination from all actors in the sanitation chain including governments, city planners, NGOs, the private sector, informal service providers and citizens. The report also said sanitation workers to be given the respect they deserve with stable employment, safety and decent pay. Without them healthy communities and cities are impossible.

Poops! NGT orders probe after ex-army man complains of human waste falling on houses from aircraft

New Delhi: Imagine human excreta falling on you from airplanes flying above! A former senior army man has moved the National Green Tribunal alleging dumping of human waste by aircraft over residential areas near the IGI airport here, which led the green panel to order an inspection of his South Delhi house.

Representational Image.Reuters

Representational Image.Reuters

Lt Gen (Retd) Satwant Singh Dahiya has sought criminal proceedings against commercial airlines and levy of hefty fines on them for endangering the health of residents, terming the act as violation of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Noting the submissions of the petitioner, the green panel directed Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to depute a senior environmental engineer to inspect his house and check the existence of human excreta on the walls. It also asked CPCB that if excreta was found, samples should be collected for analysis and the report placed before the tribunal.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar also issued notices to the Ministries of Environment and Forests and Civil Aviation and CPCB, seeking their replies within two weeks. Plane toilets store human waste in special tanks. These are normally disposed of by ground crew once the plane lands, but aviation officials acknowledge that lavatory leaks can occur in the air at times. There have been instances, including in India, when people have been injured.

In his petition, Vasant Enclave resident Dahiya has sought creation of a 24-hour helpline for immediate reporting of the incident and a monitoring mechanism to check that no aircraft drops “human soil or excreta” while landing. “For past more than the week in the early morning, we found that walls and floors of the terrace of our house splattered with large patches of excreta dumped by aircraft flying in front of Palam airport at night.

This is the second time this has happened. Last time it had occurred in early October when we had spent Rs 50,000 to get the entire exterior resurfaced with fresh paint. “Diwali is only a few days away and being the festive season having recently finished fresh coating of the house exterior at considerable experience to clean up the premises. We are again faced with having our walls completed spattered with waste. We are retired people and cannot afford to have this defacement every day,” the plea said.

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MCD, PWD and Delhi government do not work: Vijay Goel

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel expressed his unhappiness on Friday over insanitation in the city and alleged that the civic bodies and Delhi government “do not work” to maintain cleanliness. “They do not work. MCD does not work, PWD and Delhi government do not work. It’s such a big system that if everyone does work cleanliness can be maintained,” Goel said at an award function to felicitate persons associated with cleanliness movements in the country.Highlighting the achievements of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Goel said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sent across a “message” and now people have started thinking about cleanliness. “The Prime Minister has given a message. People have started thinking about things like littering. Even if you don’t pick up a piece of paper and lodge it in a dustbin you think it should be there,” he said.Emphasising the role of people in realising the dream of clean India, the Minister said that he himself dreamt of a project wherein a special 15-day campaign was launched by all the agencies including MCDs, NDMC, and DDA to make the city clean. Many representatives of NGOs working in the field of sanitation in different parts of the country were felicitated by the Minister during the programme organised by Delhi Study Group.

Delhi’s local body ignores Venkaiah Naidu, his ministry creates temporary road blocks

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A tiff between Urban Development Ministry and Ministry of Road Transport and Highway has led to a delay in the signing of MoU between East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) and National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).While transport minister Nitin Gadkari was scheduled to be a part of the event that was scheduled for October 2, UD minister Venkaiah Naidu was allegedly kept out of the loop, only to discover about the development after the invitations were sent out. Irked, Naidu asked his ministry to stall the event for the time being.The MoU between the two bodies will allow Delhi to get rid of the mountain of garbage lying on the outskirts of Delhi in the Ghazipur landfill site. NHAI will be using the garbage for construction of highways.NHAI reports to the Transport Ministry and its minister was scheduled to be a part of the MoU event. Delhi’s municipal body which gets a major portion of its funding from UD ministry, in a major faux pas, forgot to invite its own minister. The minister who was reportedly annoyed at this expressed his dissatisfaction over the project and has stalled the signing of MoU for the time being. The MoU was to be signed as a part of Swachh Bharat Week being observed by the central government.The Press Information Bureau of the Government of India, on Thursday, had sent out invitation for signing of the MoU. However, on Friday, the invitation was withdrawn announcing that the event has been deferred for the time being. While EDMC had not received any official reason for the deferring the event, sources in the Urban Development Ministry confirmed that its minister was not happy with the development of events.“EDMC had not kept the ministry in the know of the things. When the matter came to light, the minister wanted to look into the scheme of things before signing of any agreement,” said a senior ministry official.Sources in the ministry also confirmed that not keeping the minister informed, had irked the minister so much so that he wanted a relook into the matter, before allowing any MoU to be signed. Fuming Naidu asked EDMC to put the event on hold.“We just got to know that some issues were raised by the UD Ministry. They want some clarification before signing the MoU,” said a senior officer of the engineering department of EDMC. No further day of signing the MoU has been decided so far.The collaboration between EDMC and NHAI will allow EDMC to get rid of the heaped garbage on the landfill site that covers an area of about 30 acres and extends upto 40 feet height. The garbage at this site has heavy presence of metal and is not suitable for making compost. The MoU will allow NHAI to extract the garbage and use it for construction of roads in the highway projects.

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan: New initiatives launched to mark second anniversary

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>New initiatives to clean public places, rewarding the impact-makers and fresh pledges to meet the 2019 target of a clean-India marked the day as the the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi completed two years on Sunday on Gandhi Jayanti.Porbandar, the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi, and nearly 170 towns in Gujarat were declared Open Defection Free (ODF) on the birth anniversary of the ‘Father of the Nation’. Andhra Pradesh became the second state after Gujarat to declare all its municipalities ODF under the ‘Swachch Bharat’ initiative and earned an incentive of Rs 185.97 crore from the Centre.”Synchronizing the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan with Gandhiji’s birthday is most appropriate as he had always emphasized on adoption of cleanliness in our daily lives,” President Pranab Mukherjee said as he flagged-off a march for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan at Rashtrapati Bhavan New Delhi. From Puducherry, to Rajkot, to his constituency Varanasi, the Prime Minister shared on Twitter pictures and videos of cleanliness drives and awareness campaigns held across the country by locals.”It’s a matter of joy that Porbandar Dist, where Bapu was born has become open defecation-free today. Kudos to all those who made this happen,” Modi tweeted. Union Ministers, Chief Ministers and state ministers joined people in the cleanliness drives. Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal helped in cleaning the Kamakhya Temple while Union Ministers Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Kiren Rijiju were in action at a school here.Union Minister Venkaih Naidu flagged off the ‘Swachhta Rally’ from India Gate.Celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan joined cleanliness campaigns launched by media and corporate houses with the superstar saying that if Indians pledge to clean 10 yards around them, soon Modi’s vision of a Swachh Bharat can turn in to reality. The Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry honoured the people whose short films were selected in a competition on the theme of Swachh Bharat. The contest received 4,346 entries after which 20 were shortlisted with the top honour going Katyanan Shivpuri from Maharashtra for the film Murga.Swachh Bharat Mission has become a social movement in the country and it is for first time in Independent India that people were joining hands for a such a cause, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said after administering cleanliness pledge to school students at a function in New Delhi.”Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set a target of achieving Swachh Bharat and Swasth Bharat by the end of 2019 and we will definitely succeed in this regard,” Rajnath Singh said. The Delhi Metro too launched a six day ‘Swachh Metro’ campaign. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation in association with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Club Mahindra launched a special campaign to make Mumbai litter-free and clean.’Phenk Mat Mumbai’ (Do not litter, Mumbai) was launched by BMC chief Ajoy Mehta, who expressed hope of getting support of people to keep the city neat and clean. Jammu and Kashmir Deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh launched a cleanliness drive in Gandhi Nagar area in Jammu. In Tirupati, Andhra Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu formally declared all 110 municipalities, 1,368 village panchayats and two revenue mandals in the state as ODF and said in the next two years, the entire state will become open defecation free. “This is a historic achievement,” Venkaiah Naidu said.Navy personnel in Kochi undertook a two-day clean-up drive in different areas of the city. Waterfront areas were targeted for the drive this year as an ecology preservation initiative. Family members of the Naval personnel also joined the drive. A voluntary mass cleanliness drive was carried out today at the Indian Naval Academy in Ezhimala.

On Gandhi Jayanti, 170 Gujarat towns declared open defecation free

New Delhi: Porbandar, the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi, and nearly 170 towns in Gujarat were declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) on the birth anniversary of the ‘Father of the Nation’ on Sunday.

On the occasion, Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu urged the people to follow the call of Swachh Bharat Mission given by Modi.

A file image of Venkaiah Naidu. PTI

A file image of Venkaiah Naidu. PTI

“As Mahatma Gandhi had said, for getting the freedom we all need to be satyagrahi. Similarly, our PM has said we all need to be swachhgrahi for clean India. So all Gujaratis become a swachhgrahi,” he said in his address to people of Porbandar through video-conferencing.

“This is an interim gift to Mahatma Gandhi ji and the final gift will be in 2019 when the entire country will be clean or swachh,” Naidu added.

He also complimented Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, his ministers and officials after 170 towns of Gujarat were declared open defecation free.

“Gujarat is the torch bearer and has set an example for others in swachhta (cleanliness),” the minister said.

Gangtok awarded ‘Cleanest Tourist Destination’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim, has been named as the ‘Cleanest City Destination’ by the Union Ministry of Tourism.The award was received from the Prime Minister by the Commissioner, Gangtok Municipal Corporation in New Delhi on September 30, an official release said in Gangtok on Sunday. The Ministry of Urban Development and Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, nodal Ministries responsible for implementing the flagship programme Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) (Urban and Gramin), jointly organised a day-long national workshop ‘INDOSAN’ at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi on Friday.The workshop which was inaugurated by the Prime Minister saw the participation of Union Ministers of the Ministries concerned, Chief Ministers of many states and Ministers in-charge of Swachh Bharat Mission.The Sikkim delegation was led by state Minister, Urban Development (UD) and Housing Development (HD), N K Subba, Mayor GMC, PCE/Secretary UD and HD, Municipal Commissioner, State Mission Directors (Urban and Gramin), Officials and Panchayats, ADCs-Development Namchi and Gyalshing.The delegates from Sikkim participated in the workshop, particularly in the technical session on Sanitation Technologies, Solid-Liquid Waste Management, inclusive Sanitation and Role of IT and Technology in SBM. A plenary session on Inter-Ministerial collaboration was also conducted, the release said.

Govt to release stamp to mark 2 years of Swachh Bharat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Swacch Bharat Mission is completing two years on Sunday, the program launched on Gandhi Jayanti in 2014, and on this occasion the government will release a special stamp on ‘Swachh Bharat’.Prime Minister Narendra Modi had given a clarion call on Independence Day 2014 from the ramparts of Red Fort to make India clean by 2019, which will coincide with 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Modi had said cleanliness and sanitation were very close to the heart of Mahatma Gandhi and it is the social responsibility of every citizen to help fulfill Gandhiji’s vision of Clean India.Several programmes would be organised to mark the occasion. Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu will flag off a swachatta rally at India Gate. Naidu, along with Communication Minister Manoj Sinha, will release a special stamp on Swachh Bharat. Naidu will also felicitate makers of short film on Swachh Bharat.Home Minister Rajnath Singh will administer Swachhata pledge at Central Park in Connaught Place in New Delhi. Other union ministers will also participate in various cleanliness drives.35 districts including Porbandar, birth place of Mahatma Gandhi and about one lakh villages will be declared Open Defecation Free. Community-led mass cleaning campaigns will be organised all over the country.In run up to the event, several programmers like Cleanliness week, Swachhata Pakhwada and India Sanitation conference were organised. Over the two years, the mission has gathered pace and momentum and it has become a mass movement.

India will be truly literate when littering stops: Venkaiah Naidu

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu stressed on the need for behavioural changes on Thursday to ensure ‘Swachh Bharat’ and said the country will become literate in the true sense when people stops littering. Speaking to mediapersons after inaugurating a two-day exhibition on sanitation technologies in Delhi, he expressed concern over people behaving in an “irresponsible” manner by throwing litter in the open and being unmindful of cleanliness of public spaces.”The country will march forward when we stop spitting and littering at public places. It will be literate only when we stop littering. You cannot call yourself literate without stopping littering in public places. This is my advice to all,” the Union minister said.Minister of State for Drinking Water and Sanitation Ramesh Chandappa Gigajinagi was also present on the occasion. The exhibition has been organised for the benefit of the public and the delegates who will attend the INDOSAN Conference in Delhi on Friday.Different kinds of tools, equipment and technologies related to various aspects of sanitation chain, including toilets of different kinds, green waste reprocessors, domestic waste water treatment units, plastic recyclers, waste collectors, underground dust bins, construction and demolition waste recyclers are on display.

Mann Ki Baat: Join Swachh Bharat Abhiyan on Gandhi Jayanti, urges PM Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday urged the nation to devote their time to join the cleanliness drive under the ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ on Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary on October 2.Addressing the nation in the 24th edition of his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme, Prime Minister Modi said, “The citizen of India is becoming cautious about cleanliness. On October 2 this year, everyone can join cleanliness drive by devoting 2-4 hours for it.”He asserted that the people can use the number 1969 to know about progress of Swachh Bharat in their area and for requesting work in their specific areas.”I request everyone to join this cleanliness drive and send pictures and videos on ‘NarendraModiApp’,” he added.He further informed that Porbandar, Gujarat, the birth place of Mahatma Gandhi will be Open Defecation-Free (ODF) on October 2, adding that Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Kerala is also moving closer to eliminate open defecation system.Prime Minister Modi said that over 2.48 crores toilets had been built in the rural areas, adding 1.5 crores more toilets will be constructed in 2017.Building toilets in rural India is one of the prime objectives of Prime Minister Modi’s ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’. Its main aim is to make India “open defecation-free” by October 2019 by constructing 12 crore toilets in rural India. Over 1.09 crore toilets were built across the country in the first 11 months of 2015-16.

Govt releases Rs 315 cr for building toilets along Ganga

Fri, 23 Sep 2016-03:28pm , New Delhi , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Union Water Resources Ministry has released Rs 315 crore for construction of toilets along Ganga river.The Ministry released the money to Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation for building toilets as per an action plan under Swachh Bharat campaign (Gramin) during 2016-17. The Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Ministry had released Rs 263 crore for the purpose during the previous fiscal, an official statement said.”So far, 14,500 toilets have been constructed under this scheme,” the statement reads.

PM Modi to address nation through ‘Mann Ki Baat’ today

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will share his thoughts with the nation on a number of issues in the 21st edition of the ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme on June 26.People can share their thoughts in MyGov Open Forum and can also dial the toll free number 1XXX-XX-7800 (repeat 1XXX-XX-7800) and record their message. The phone lines shall remain open to 22nd of this month and selected voice messages may be included as part of the broadcast.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the earlier editions, the Prime Minister had talked on several issues, including water conservation, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, promotion of khadi, skill development, scholarship for disabled children, infrastructure for educational institutions, menace of drugs and farmers’ problems.

PM Modi launches Smart City projects, hails spirit of ‘public participation’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said in Pune that people should not consider urbanisation as a problem, but take it as an opportunity. Modi made these remarks while speaking at an event to inaugurate various Smart City Projects under the Smart Cities Mission at a function in the city.

“Cities can deal with poverty. It is our responsibility to strengthen cities and work towards development,” Modi said.

“People of the cities have to decide about the development of their urban spaces. These decisions can’t be taken in Delhi,” he said.

Saying that the size of the roads and buildings are not the only way to evaluate a city, Modi said that every city has “a distinct identity.” He cited the example of Banarasi sarees to emphasise the point about different cities having distinctive features.

Speaking about the Swachh Bharat Mission, Modi said that the scheme became a success though no incentives were given for it.

Modi launched 84 such projects including 14 for Pune, for various other cities across the country, at an investment of around Rs 2,000 crore.

The 20 Smart Cities selected were linked to the Pune venue through videoconferencing wherein their states’ chief ministers and other leaders gave details of their plans for the Smart Cities in their states and interacted with the PM.

Modi visited an expo on Smart Cities, and inaugurated a contest on Make Your City Smart and a Smart Net Portal on the occasion at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi, on the outskirts of Pune.

Maharashtra Governor CV Rao, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu and other dignitaries were present on the occasion

‘PM Modi and I are on the same page; we want a hygenic enviornment’: Kajol

Actress Kajol says she and Prime Minister Narendra Modi share similar views and concerns when it comes to environment and maintaining hygiene.

The 41-year-old actress met Modi in Delhi to discuss Hindustan Unilever’s Lifebuoy’s ‘Help A Child Reach 5’ campaign as its brand ambassador.

Through the initiative, Kajol wants to spread the importance of good hand-washing habits around the world.

“He (Modi) has initiated Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan and it coincides with our ‘Help A Child Reach 5’ initiative, so we thought of meeting and discussing things with him. We are on a same page as our goals are same… We want a hygienic environment,” Kajol told PTI.


Kajol and PM Modi. Image from Twitter: @KajolAtUN

“He is the best person to give tips on it. The meeting went well as we discussed lot of interesting stuff. We want the mortality rate of children and people in the society to come down.”

The Dilwale actress said the Prime Minister, who has been batting for clean environment through Centre’s flagship Swachh Bharat campaign, lauded the initiative.”

“He appreciated our work. He understood what we were trying to do. He understood that there is a need to give importance to hand washing to save life of children and people,” Kajol said.

She revealed it was Modi, who gave the campaigners the idea to utilise mass media platform for the advertisements.

“Through our ad ‘Haath Mooh aur Bum, Bimari Hogi Kum’, we wanted to bring alive the message of hygiene in a fun and engaging manner. Clean surroundings and following good hygiene are two pre requisites to stay fit and healthy,” Kajol said.

Every year millions of children fail to reach their fifth birthday because of diseases like diarrhea and pneumonia and through ‘Help A Child Reach 5’ campaign, the team helps more and more children reach their fifth birthday.

Smaller schemes to be focus of Modi government’s second year publicity campaigns

Aside the prominent, well-publicised flagship schemes, smaller initiatives such as simplification of forms and self-attestation of documents, will be the focus on the Narendra Modi government’s extensive publicity campaigns to mark its second year in power.Senior government officials told dna that success stories on such initiatives will occupy a prominent space in the publicity campaigns, aside popular schemes such as Swachh Bharat, Jan Dhan Yojna and the Mudra Yojna.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”A notion has developed that most of the schemes announced by the Modi government in the last 18 months has not seen ground-level implementation. With a view to dispel this perception, smaller schemes, such as simplification of forms and self-attestation of documents, and other initiatives in the social and the infrastructure sectors, which has had easier implementation and a wider impact is being collected by the Press Information Bureau (PIB), the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) ministry, along with successful case studies,” a senior government official said.Every ministry is in the process of submitting five mega success stories from their ministries which will be compiled by the PIB.In a letter to the all ministries on April 19, I&B secretary Sunil Arora asked secretaries to provide success stories, promos, films or reports on the initiatives taken by them in the last two years, which has impacted lives of people, for a comprehensive communication strategy for highlighting the government’s achievements in the last two years.In the letter, the ministries have also been asked to shortlist beneficiaries out of the many who are understood to have benefited by the government’s flagship schemes, for the success stories which are likely to be broadcasted by media units like Doordarshan and All India Radio.Doordarshan, AIR will be shooting the series success stories for broadcast once they receive the list of beneficiaries. DAVP will be in charge of most print publicity materials.Senior officials said each ministry will also publish a booklet highlighting its achievements, as part of the publicity campaigns.

Jammu & Kashmir, West Bengal districts get PM excellence awards for implementing NDA govt initiatives

Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag and West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas districts, besides Chandigarh, were on Thursday presented awards by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for excellence in implementing the NDA government’s priority initiatives like Swachh Bharat Mission.Nagaon in Assam, Bikaner in Rajasthan, West Sikkim district, Ananthapuramu in Andhra Pradesh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Balrampur in Chhattisgarh and Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh also received the awards. Anantnag administration has been awarded under ‘Swachh Vidyalaya’ category for ‘North East and Hill States’ for constructing toilets– separately for boys and girls– in over 1,500 schools of the district.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”It was a massive exercise to construct large number of toilets there. We overcome this through community mobilisation. We also got done a social audit, on the lines of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, to ensure quality is not compromised,” said Syed Abid Rasheed Shah, who received the award from Modi at a function. He said the construction of toilets has resulted in increase in attendance and checked drop outs rate of students.”The attendance of students has gone up and there is a feeling of belongingness in the community,” Shah said.There are 1,555 government schools– 45 higher secondary, 124 high school, 695 at the middle and 691 at primary levels– which catered to large number of marginalised and poor people living in the area.”It is because of previous Deputy Commissioners and hard work of all staff of education department,” said Shah, Deputy Commissioner of Anantnag.This is the first time that ‘Prime Minister’s Awards for excellence in implementation of priority programmes’ have been given on the civil services day. The awards were divided into four categories–Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen), Swachh Vidyalaya and Soil health Card schemes.West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas has been given the award for effective implementation of PMJDY scheme in ‘Other States’ category. Nagaon in Assam and Chandigarh have also been awarded the PM’s award for excellence in implementing PMJDY. Bikaner in Rajasthan and Sikkim’s West Sikkim districts have been given Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) awards.The Swachh Vidyalaya awards were also given to Andhra Pradesh’s Ananthapuramu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli administration for their efforts in construction of toilets. Chhattisgarh’s Balrampur and Himachal Pradesh’s Hamirpur have been adjudged best districts for implementing Soil Health Card scheme. These awards were given on the occasion of Civil Services Day function.

Mathura: To shame open defecators, their pictures to be posted on social media

To deter the practice of open defecation, authorities here have resorted to naming and shaming offenders by posting their pictures on social media. District authorities on Saturday inspected several villages in Mathura under the Swachh Bharat initiative and took action against offenders. They even posted their pictures on WhatsApp to deter such habits.”A total of 18 villages were inspected and 36 officials have been assigned to this task,” Chief Development Officer Manish Kumar Verma said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Several persons were caught defecating in the open. Villagers were also made aware of the ills of this practice,” he said.The CDO said efforts are being made to make the villages free of open defecation by April 15, adding that they were looking to accomplish the same target with 150 villages of the district by August 15.

PMO clears 1800 sq feet space, old files thrown out

In a special cleanliness drive, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on Wednesday weeded out 10,000 files, and transferred another 1,000 of them having archival value, to the National Archives of India. Under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, some 400 member strong staff of the PMO, which also included officers, under the guidance of principal secretary Nripendra Misra, cleaned their stables, almirahs, removed scrap and dismantled material, and disposed off e-waste. They also were seen engaged in beautification of lawns at the western entrance of PMO.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Soon after taking over, as Prime Minister in May 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while inspecting his office called for maintaining cleanliness, which in turn would raise productivity. This is the third such major drive, after Modi took charge.PMO officials said, since May 2014, more than one lakh files have been weeded out, which has resulted in clearing two record rooms. Auction of old unused items have also resulted in freeing two more rooms. New workstations have been installed as part of progressive standardisation of work environment. These efforts helped to free 1800 square feet of office space within the PMO premises at South Block, which now accommodates around 50 officials of Public Wing of the PMO, which earlier functioned from Rail Bhawan, due to space constraints at South Block.The PMO comprises of four secretary-level officers, six joint secretaries and 20 deputy secretary and director level officers, besides over 300 section officers, private secretaries, clerks and assistants. This also includes 63 members of Prime Minister’s personal staff, lead by his two private secretaries Rajeev Topnos and Sanjeev K. Singla.Under the PM’s direction, over past one and half year, several productivity and cleanliness related initiatives have been undertaken, including standardisation of the processing of receipts and files. Further, officials at the PMO said the processing of physical petitions and online petitions has been segregated and an “Electronic Mail Management System” has been introduced resulting in reduction of time in the processing of public petitions from one month to one day.Further, online VVIP letter Monitoring System (VLMS), Meeting Management System and Dash Board System have been introduced, which increased the efficiency of the system and decreased the time consumed in the process considerably.

Can’t penalise without creating awareness on Swachh Bharat: Government

The government on Thursday said it cannot slap penalty for not implementing the Swachh Bharat Mission without first creating awareness and establishing necessary infrastructure.”We are having three-pronged strategy. First, trying to educate people and change mindset, second one is creating infrastructure. The third and last option which has not yet been tried is penalisation. Certain countries like Singapore have it. But I cannot straightaway go to that system without creating infrastructure,” Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said during Question Hour in Rajya Sabha.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”If you want to go for urination in Connaught Place area (in Delhi) and if there is no public toilet anywhere, you cannot ask him to go back to his native place and do it there. We have to create infrastructure also. We are doing both,” Naidu said.Noting that delineation of duty for non-performance of the officer or employees concerned a big and sensitive issue, the Minister said, “We have been sensitising the urban local bodies to see accountability is brought into the system.” In a federal system, it is the urban local body, panchayats or municipal body which have to lead in this campaign, supervise and monitor it, he added.He was replying to a supplementary query raised by Vandana Chavan (NCP) on non-implementation of the mission at local level and if there is a possibility to fix accountability and impose penalty. Replying to another supplementary on impact of advertisements on the mission, Naidu said, “Sir, impact cannot be quantified in such short time though I understand purport of the question. “Listing down achievements”It cannot be quantified in short duration. But at the same time, 4.17 lakh for girl children in schools. With regard to urban areas also, the momentum is catching up day by day,” he said. The government is trying to changing behaviour through various campaigns through print and electronic media.Spiritual gurus, leaders and icons of cricket, sports and industry are also being engaged, Naidu added. To another query by BJP member Basawaraj Patil that the mission would remain unsuccessful without banning plastic, he said, “Banning plastics is not related to my ministry. We are getting demands and it is an important issue. I will convey this serious issue to the concerned ministry.”Noting that the mission is gradually turning into a mass movement for cleanliness, Naidu said the Centre has released so far Rs 1,641.57 crore to states for implementing the urban component of the mission, while Rs 7,631.47 crore under the rural component. Against the target of constructing 25 lakh individual household latrines upto March 2016, work has commenced on around 23.25 lakh and 10.28 lakh have been completed, the minister said in his written reply.Work has commenced on 1.34 lakh public toilet seats and 35,2016 have been constructed against the target of contructing one lakh community and public toilet seats in urban areas, he said quoting reports from the state governments. In the area of Municipal Solid Waste Management (MSWM), against the target of achieving 100 per cent door to door collection in 50 per cent of the wards, 43.92 per cent of the wards have door-to-door collection as reported by states.Water to wealth initiativeUnder water-to-weath initiative, the Minister said that the policy on promotion of city compost has been approved under which provision has been made to provide market development assistance of Rs 1,500 per tonne of city compost for enabling scaling up production and consumption of the product. The chemical fertiliser companies have been mandated to co-market city compost made out of municipal solid waster along with chemical fertilisers, he added.The Minister further said that the Power Ministry has amended the Electricity Tariff Policy to include a provision that distribution licensees should compusorily procure 100 per cent power produced from all the waste-to-wealth initiative plans in the state and at the tariff determined by appropriate commission.For the recycling and reuse of construction and demolition waster, the Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS) has amended the IS 383 — Specification for coarse and fine aggregates, enabling the use of recycled aggregates in construction activities.”These interventions of SBM in waste-to-weath initiative would give a big boost to the recovery, reuse and recycling of municipal solid waste so that dumping, landfilling and pollution is brought down,” the Minister said.

Watch: 15-year-old girl dares Kanhaiya Kumar for open debate on ‘freedom of expression’

Jhanvi Behal, the 15-year-old activist who was awarded for her contribution to ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ on Sunday criticised JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar and challenged him for an open debate on freedom of expression.”What Kanhaiya ji said about Prime Minister Modi wasn’t appreciable at all. Instead of criticising the Prime Minister, he should have something on those who raised anti-national slogans in the campus,” Jhanvi said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>She also said that Prime Minister Modi has been working tirelessly for the nation’s betterment, adding it is very easy to scorn at someone by sitting at home. “I invite him for an open debate on what he said on Prime Minister Modi,” she said.Pointing out that the Prime Minister has been elected by the people of India, the 15-year-old stated that Kanhaiya with his critical remarks about the former is speaking against the people of the country who have elected him to the top post. “I would like to inform that I would have done the same had there been any other Prime Minister,” she said.”There have been reports of anti-India slogans being raised in JNU. I want to ask him as to why there is no check in the university, but on the contrary he is criticising Prime Minister Modi,” she added.Jhanvi has raised several public issues in the past, including the matter of road blockage of various organizations which she had taken to the court.Recently, she had filed a writ in the Punjab and Haryana High Court against adult movies and porn content on social networking sites.

Central government employees, mind your integrity!

The “integrity”of central government employees will now be under watch.A confidential circular by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has asked all officers of the rank of joint secretaries and above to rate the integrity of their subordinates.The move forms part of reforms and making bureaucracy more accountable and functional. The intergrity report will be part of the annual confidential appraisal reports (ACARs).<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The ACAR is designed to adjudge the performance of government servants every year in the areas of work, conduct, character and capabilities.The ratings will be “beyond doubt, doubtful, most doubtful”.The circular has created a flutter within bureaucracy. Many officials told dna that it has not defined the integrity.It has also asked supervisory officers to maintain a confidential diary to note the integrity and actions of subordinate staff, and consult this diary when filing the integrity column in the ACARs.The filing of ACARs, which starts on March 31, has to be completed by May 23.”Officers have been asked to make a note in the diary about instances that raise suspicion about the integrity of a subordinate and the action taken to verify the truth,” said a senior central government official.It further says that senior officers till the rank of secretaries should also note the action taken by supervisors while making confidential departmental inquiries or referring the matter to the police for further action.Though a clause of integrity was incorporated in the ACAR some years back, reporting officers were not making a clear and categorical noting.Now, with clear classification in the columns, they will have to report and rate the integrity of staff, said a DoPT official.Meanwhile, Union minister of state in-charge of DoPT Dr Jitendra Singh said that the government will soon devise an institutional mechanism for the welfare and utilisation of the vast resource pool of pensioners.At present, there are more pensioners than serving employees, he said. Retired employees need to engage themselves and contribute to government initiatives like educating people to use the accounts opened under Jan Dhan Yojana, Swachh Bharat Swachh Vidyalaya and Kaushal Vikas Yojana etc as per their interests, he suggested.

#SwachhSurvekshan: Mysuru ranked the cleanest among 73 cities; Dhanbad is the filthiest

Mysuru is the cleanest of 73 cities and Dhanbad in Jharkhand is the dirtiest in the “seminal” Swachh Survekshan results the government rolled out on Monday — a cleanliness monitor based on extensive surveys across Indian cities carried out by Quality Council of India (QCI). Navi Mumbai and Greater Mumbai both make the cut and are grouped in “leader cities”.

Image courtesy NeelabhToonsImage courtesy NeelabhToons

Image courtesy NeelabhToons

Chandigarh, Tiruchirapalli, Delhi (NDMC) and Vishakapatnam come right behind Mysuru in the top five “leaders” which have high levels of sanitation and cleanliness. Chennai in Tamil Nadu just about makes it into the Aspiring Leaders category coming in last among 22 cities while Panaji leads this bunch. More than one city in Bihar is bunched with the laggards, including state capital Patna. Two important cities in Kerala — a state which goes to the polls soon, are in the ‘Accelaration required’ category.

Unveiling the results, Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said “a clean India is the most profound statement that the country can make to the world which is keenly watching us.”

Prime Minister Modi launched ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ in 2014 and laid a roadmap for improving the level of sanitation and cleanliness in the country with a vision to create a Clean India by 2019, the 150th birth year of Mahatma Gandhi. The QCI Swachh Survekshan informs this effort with measurable data points — the first of its kind in the country. QCI and the government invite citizens to tweet their views to @SwachhBharatGov.

Key findings:

Less than 3 in 10 people (25 percent) have access to a public toilet within 500 metres.
Almost 9 in 10 of those surveyed have a toilet at home.
Only 2 in 10 people (23 percent) can locate a trash can.
Less than 2 in 10 (18 percent) people find their areas always clean.

Although cities have been ranked point wise with a variety of indicators and cross checks, these four categories offer a better “understanding” of the results, says the survey.

Cities with a score of 1,400 and above are leaders, those with less than 1,000 are slow movers while the other two categories come within the 1,000-1,400 point scale.

The total of 2,000 points at the upper end comes from three sources: Service level status data (1,000), independent observation (500) and citizen feedback (500)

Calling this a “seminal project”, Quality Council of India chairman Adil Zainulbhai said he hopes the survey “becomes the cornerstone for a much intensive exercise of local government and citizens working together for a better future for the next generation”.

“A well ranked city wholly benefits from its cleanliness – by leading to influx of the new-age, economically strong working class population further strengthening the economic market of the city,” says Zainulbhai, former India chief for McKinsey.

“In fact, we have already started moving towards our next task — even more challenging. It is to make Swachh Survekshan a quarterly affair and go on to rank as many as 4,000 cities and towns in the country,” Zainulbhai said.

Adil Zainulbhai. Twitter @ChairmanQCIAdil Zainulbhai. Twitter @ChairmanQCI

Adil Zainulbhai, chairman of Quality Council of India. Twitter @ChairmanQCI

Prime Minister Modi also weighed in saying: “We reached Mars. No PM or Minister went. It was the people who did it, our scientists who did it. So can’t we create a Clean India?”

Underling the ‘objective’ nature of the Swachh Survekshan survey, Zainulbhai said the “power and penetration of technology was used to minimize human subjectivity in the surveys.”

“The assessors were given tablets to fill the surveys and click evidence-based pictures of the locations in the cities. The pictures were also geo-tagged to detect precise locations, ensuring accuracy and transparency. Assessors were not given the op-tion to amend, revise or re-do the survey unless approved or requested by the control room, on a real time basis.”

There are 15 cities in the “leader” category while the other 58 cities get sorted into three other categories — ‘Slow movers’, ‘Accelaration required’ and ‘Aspiring leaders’.

Other “leader” cities:
Pimpri Chinchwad
Greater Mumbai
Navi Mumbai

Aspiring leaders:

Vasai – Virar

Acceleration required:
Delhi-North DMC
Hubli Dharwad

Slow movers:

Self assessment and independent data collection

After the initial round of self assessment, Swachh Survekshan moved to the next round of independent observation and on-ground assessment by QCI assessors. “Survey assessors used maps and simple handheld recording formats and photographs” to record data and visual evidence, with “location, date and time are tagged on all the pictures.”

4 zones in each municipality

Each municipal jurisdiction was divided into 4 zones and QCI zeroed in on these specific locations within that zoning: Slums including informal settlements and urban villages, ‘non-slum’ neighborhoods, main market area and places of worship, bulk waste generators including hotels, banquet halls, weekly vegetable market areas, two community Toilets and 2 public toilets in each zone.

Key numbers in #SwachhSurvekshan:

73 cities ranked
1 lakh citizens participated
110 assessors
3,000 plus locations
1,168 public toilets
876 residential areas

The exercise also involved six measurable aspects of sanitation and hygiene:

– How cities proposed to stop open defecation and integrate solid waste management systems

– Communication strategies on information, education and behavioral change

– Systems adopted for sweeping, door-to-door collection and transportation of waste

– Efficiency in processing and disposal of waste

– Deployment of public and community toilets

– Progress in construction of individual household toilets.

QCI’s Zainulbhai said a happy outcome of this survey would be healthy competition between cities and bottom-up change for a cleaner India and a sense of ownership among government stakeholders and citizens.

With inputs from IANS

Do not only be fair but seen to be fair: President tells Governors

President Pranab Mukherjee yet again asked Governors to act within the framework of the Constitution and “they must not only be fair but also be seen to be fair”.In his concluding remarks in the two-day conference of Governors on Wednesday, he said that they have been charged with an onerous responsibility–to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.”It is, therefore, imperative that all their actions are within the framework of the Constitution and conform to the highest ideals enshrined in this living document,” Mukherjee said. He said as holders of high offices they must not only be fair but also be seen to be fair.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The President’s mention assumes significance amidst a raging controversy over the role of Governor J P Rajkhowa in Arunachal Pradesh that led to the imposition of central rule. Inaugurating the conference, he had yesterday said all those who hold Constitutional positions should maintain sanctity of the Constitution.”Governors, as the live-link between the centre and the states, can catalyse initiatives. Governors may take up smart solutions in their Raj Bhavans which can serve as technology demonstrators. They may also ask the universities to make use of the ‘Unnat Bharat Abhiyaan’ for developing smart villages. Governors can also sensitise states and union territories about adopting a well-knit strategy to achieve the objectives of the Make-in-India programme,” Mukherjee asked.He said strong monitoring, rigorous follow-up, and validation of progress are essential for the success of the Swachh Bharat Mission.The President said the Governors of eastern states, specially the North Eastern states, should become active participants of the Government’s ‘Act East’ policy.Connectivity of the North Eastern states must be improved by strengthening the road and rail network. There is need for a progressive policy for industrial investment and promotion in the hilly and mountainous states, he said.The entire North-East and the Northern region of the country is highly vulnerable to seismic disturbances. The building codes and regulatory mechanisms for new construction have to be enforced strictly, Mukherjee said.”It needs to be ensured that disaster management procedures are in place and regular drills are conducted,” he said.The President said laudable initiatives taken by some Governors should be replicated in other states. As Chancellors or Visitors of universities at the state level, Governors can play a proactive role in driving quality higher education.”Governors could also examine the possibility of conducting in-residence programmes in Raj Bhavans on the lines of what is organised at Rashtrapati Bhavan,” he said.The in-residence programme is envisaged to encourage the creative and innovative potential of people by helping them stay in specifically-built houses inside the President’s Estate. Vice President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi also addressed the concluding session of the conference which was attended by 23 Governors and two Lt Governors.Home Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, national Security Adviser Ajit Doval, among others also addressed the gathering.

No significant progress in Swachh Bharat campaign: Shashi Tharoor

Former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor on Sunday said he was disappointed at not seeing “significant progress” in the Swachh Bharat campaign, initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”There is no significant progress. We have not seen concrete progress, fund allocation, improvement of fundamental structure and schemes. The Prime Minister deserves credit for having raised the issue but the government is not confined to headlines,” Tharoor said. The Congress leader, who was nominated by Modi to spread the message of the cleanliness campaign, said there was failure to allocate funds and put in place a mechanism for the initiative.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The government has to ensure that mechanism is in place, funds are allocated, leadership is given to the programme and that sadly has not happened,” Tharoor said at a session titled ‘Swachh Bharat: The India Story’ on the penultimate day of the five day Jaipur Literature Festival here. Tharoor said the cleanliness campaign has been reduced to mere photo ops with VIPs wielding brooms in front of cameras on every Gandhi Jayanti on October 2.”PM Modi had announced a Swachh Bharat Kosh. Where is that kosh? I have not seen it so far. We need to ensure that the funds provided by the central government also strengthens the local level leaders who want to make a difference.” The Congress leader also stressed on “cleanliness of the mind.””In our country, you cannot talk about Swachh Bharat while condoning hatred, prejudice and things like ‘Go to Pakistan’ etc.” he said. Tharoor took a dig at Modi for his “‘na khaunga na khane doonga’ remarks.”We have entrusted the responsibility to curb corruption on someone who has said ‘Na Khaunga Na Khane Dunga…woh beef ke bare me bol rahe the’ (he was talking about beef),” Tharoor said in response to Punjabi novelist Desraj Kali with whom he was in conversation.He said there is a need to change the mindset of people and the government should create infrastructure facilites for garbage dumping especially near canals to ensure that people do not throw garbage into them.He also favoured hiking salaries and providing facilities for the dignity of people engaged in scavenging and cleaning.Desraj, expressed his pessimism towards the cleanliness drive, saying mere launch of a campaign is not enough. “Without changing the mindset of people, the objective cannot be achieved,” he said.

Amit Shah set for first full term as BJP president starting January 24

Amit Shah will start his first full term as BJP president on January 24, after completing the remaining period of Rajnath Singh’s term who resigned as party president in 2014 after the saffron party won the general elections.According to Indian Express, Shah’s appointment suggests PM Modi’s faith in the leader and continuance of the agenda of development and Hindutva.Shah wants the party to be more proactive in implementing the central government’s agenda, especially in pushing missions like Namami Gange, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Yojana.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Many rounds of negotiations and debates took place, involving RSS leaders, Shah, Modi and organisational secretaries to finalise Shah’s appointment, it is reported. Opinion was divided following the BJP’s drubbing in Bihar and Delhi. Some veterans like LK Advani were skeptical of his abilities.However, PM Modi and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat backed Shah. Complaints against Amit Shah ranged from induction of ‘average talent’ in the party to his neglect of party leaders. But Shah’s connect with cadre on the ground was one factor that weighed heavily in his favour, says the report.

From waste to compost: Government expands subsidy basket to organic fertilisers

As part of Prime Minister’s Swachh Bharat (Clean India) mission, the Central government has set its eyes on collecting, segregating and processing 62 million tonnes of organic waste, generated in 4,000 cities all over the country, to convert it into compost for use in agriculture. The Union cabinet, which met here under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, decided to extend subsidy to city compost to the tune of Rs 1,500 per tonne, to encourage farmers to use it, instead of chemical fertilisers. It will be sold to farmers initially through the fertiliser companies’ network of their dealers and later through marketing entities selected by the state governments. Currently, just 1.5 million tonnes of organic waste is converted into compost.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union minister for chemicals and fertilisers Ananth Kumar said the government was hoping that just collection of this waste will generate millions of jobs. The remnants of flowers offered in temples, fruits and other such products ending up choking drains and creating filth, hereafter, will be put to better use. He said the subsidy to be given to the marketing entities is aimed at boosting up production of compost to convert the city waste into useful by-products, reducing need of landfills and preventing production of harmful greenhouse gases, especially methane, and toxic material that pollute groundwater apart from the environment.The minister said the farmers will be attracted if the compost price is low. The compost from city garbage would not only provide carbon and primary/secondary nutrients to soil, but also help in keeping the city clean. Eco-Mark standard for city compost would ensure that environment friendly quality product reaches the farmers.The fertiliser companies will be asked to adopt villages for promoting the use of compost. The government departments and public sector undertakings will also use the city compost for their horticulture and related uses.

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