NEW DELHI, July 11: Centre is taking additional measures to
"strengthen the country's journey" towards a "clean India"
and the Swachh survey will be extended to 500 cities, Union minister M Venkaiah
Naidu said today.
"The government is taking additional policy and institutional measures
which will strengthen the country's journey towards a Swachh India. The Swachh
survey is going to be extended to 500 cities, which have population over one
lakh," he said.
The Union Urban Development Minister said this at an event here to felicitate
leaders and officers of Alappuzha (Kerala), Panaji (Goa) and Mysuru (Karnataka)
municipalities with Clean City Awards given by environmental NGO, Centre for
Science and Environment (CSE) following its survey.
The Union Urban Development Minister said, "States, cities, panchayats
should give awards so that it becomes a movement. We have the potential...It is
the political will and administrative skill which is required."
He claimed that parliamentarians keep asking him to categorise their respective
cities as "smart cities" and said, "Smart cities require smart leaderships
for the project to become a success."
"(By) smart (I) do not mean height, width, coat, suit, boot, hat...smart
means in thinking, in vision, in taking tough decisions. If you take tough
decisions and before that you take people into confidence, you are transparent,
people will support. This is what experience tells us. Otherwise people will
not be receptive," Naidu said.
He insisted that Centre's municipal solid waste rules be adhered to.
Terming cities as "growth engines", the minister suggested leaders
and officers in the municipalities to take "tough" decisions to
ensure cities remain clean also in view of health of citizens.
Stating that people will have to pay tax if they are being offered cleanliness
service, he said, "But this is provided you (municipalities) provide
people the services."
Noting that waste-to-energy projects did not produce desired results, Naidu
insisted segregation of waste before being disposed of.
At the event, he also launched CSE's book titled 'Not in My Backyard', which
deals with solid waste management in the cities. The event was addressed also
by CSE director general Sunita Narain.