With Prime Minister Narendra Modi completing one year in office, his pet project ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ has garnered mixed effects in the urban areas of the Capital.
The situation of Valmiki Colony in Central Delhi, from where Modi started his campaign on 2 October last year with much fanfare, seems to have improved a little. People there appear to be more concerned about their sanitary conditions.
"Before we used to think that it is not our duty to keep our surroundings clean. But now I understand that it is equally important to keep our surroundings clean along with our homes," said Ram Charan, a resident of the colony. All the Swachh Bharat campaigns seem to have had some effect in the minds of denizens of Delhi.
On the other hand, Connaught Place, one of the upscale areas of the Capital which houses offices and shopping complexes, is littered all around despite the fact that green trolleys have been introduced to the area.
New Delhi railway station, however, is now clean and spotless. Surprise inspections, hefty fines and strict vigil have ensured that the station looks neat and tidy and meets commuters’ expectations.
"I am a regular commuter through the station and this is the first time in the last 10 years that New Delhi station seems so clean. All thanks to Swachh Bharat Abhiyan," said Rupesh Mehta, a daily commuter.
"The staff here have become punctual and perform their duty properly. Also, our teams have intensified efforts to catch those found littering and fine them up to Rs.500. We have issued strict instructions to the vendors to keep emptying their bins at regular intervals. Stickers and bills have been removed from walls, ad metal poles are being polished regularly," said an official of the station.
The city’s upscale localities have always been clean and they remain so. The residents said this has nothing to do with the ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’. "Normally, the sanitation people visit the place on a regular basis in our area. But after Modi introduced the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, they have become more punctual," said a resident of Greater Kailash, South Delhi.