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MoD to Launch “Clean Cantonments” Drive from Tomorrow

   Responding to the Prime Minister’s clarion call to the people of India to realize Mahatma Gandhi’s dream of “Swachh Bharat” (Clean India) by 2nd October 2019 Ministry of Defence has decided to undertake an intensive national cleanliness campaign w.e.f 25th September 2014.

            During this five year cleanliness plan it has been decided that on 2nd October 2014 “Swachh Shapath” (pledge) will be administered to all in government offices and public functions/events and cleanliness drive led by senior officers will be undertaken in all government and public offices.  Besides that a variety of activities such as public marches, marathons, debates, street plays, music and essay competitions among the students and other community activities will be organized to focus public attention on this campaign and on the need for maintaining cleanliness on a sustained basis.

            To begin with Ministry of Defence has decided to start a nationwide cleanliness mission called “Clean Cantonments” w.e.f 25 Sept 2014.  The mission will comprise a collective and sustained effort to clean our homes, workplaces, streets, roads, pavements, schools, hospitals, markets and all other public places within our purview and keeping them clean for all times to come.  For this Directorate General Defence Estates (DGDE), Ministry of Defence has directed all Defence Estate Officers and Cantonment Boards to undertake “Swachh Shapath” drive on 2nd October 2014 involving all officers and staffs in Directorates as well as offices of DEO’s.  The DGDE has accordingly prepared an action plan for each Command Directorate and offices under it for a period of five years where a systemic cleanliness drive will be undertaken by a Corps of Swachh Bharat Volunteers. This core of volunteers will be tasked to create mass awareness about how to develop clean habits and keep our surroundings neat and clean.  Since Clean India-Clean Cantonments campaign cannot be successful without public participation, the action plan for the same has devised a number of steps to make it happen in a coordinated manner.  The steps/activities suggested by the action plan for a Clean India are as follows:-

  • Door-to-door garbage collection and its segregation into biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste.
  • Management of trenching grounds as per the MSW Rules, 2000.
  • Proper cleaning of public places and introduction of mechanical cleaning devices to keep roads, streets and pavements spick and span.
  • Daily clearance of dustbins and cleaning of surrounding areas.
  • Conversion of surface drainage system into an underground drainage system connected to a Sewerage Treatment Plant.  Apart from giving a cleaner look, this measure will ensure that our water bodies are protected against pollution.
  • Establishment of Water Treatment Plant, wherever drinking water is supplied by the Cantonment Board.
  • Mechanical cleaning of septic tanks, nullahs, underground drainage, public toilets and urinals so that no safai karamchari has to do such cleaning manually.
  • Spreading the message of Clean India through school children by incorporating proper reading material in the curriculum.  One way of reaching parents is through their children.  Children should also be told about the importance of keeping water bodies clean.
  • Developing the disseminating Cleanliness Logos and Messages which remind people about the importance of keeping their environment clean.
  • Enhanced emphasis on planting trees and protecting existing trees.  Species of plants which act as bio-filters should be selected for plantation in trenching grounds and other areas receiving sewage/sewerage.
  • Regular field visits by officers to see that areas are kept clean.  With increase of office/paperwork, officers have become increasingly desk-bound.  They should change this habit and must take rounds of at least one area every day.
  • Introduction of incentives, like, cleanest Street/Mohalla/Area to motivate people and to participate in the cleanliness drive competitively.
  • Effective use of mass media for spreading the Swachh Bharat campaign as well as for mobilizing support therefore.

            To manage and monitor the progress of this drive in an organized manner a high level committee under the leadership of Director General Defence Estates has been constituted where all Principal Directors, CEO’s and Defence Estate Officers (DEO’s) of the department have been retained as members.