NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Thursday launch the much talked about ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’ by administering ‘Swacchta Pledge’ to the nation at Rajpath here on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The Mission calls for a massive cleanliness drive across the country over the next five years. And the cost of the nationwide campaign has been put at Rs 62,009 crore, out of which the Centre will contribute Rs 14,623 crore.
Modi will start the day by offering floral tributes at Raj Ghat and former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri’s memorial at Vijay Ghat. He will then visit Valmiki Basti on Mandir Marg in central Delhi-- where Gandhiji had stayed-- to dedicate public toilets and will also join in the efforts to sweep the area clean.
The main function will take place at Rajpath near India Gate where several Union Ministers and school students will be present. All the Central government employees have been asked to be present in their respective offices by 9 am and take the pledge and clean their offices while the ministers will take part in the cleaning exercise in their respective constituencies, ministries and other places.
Tight security is in place around central Delhi and all the government offices in vicinity of the venue have been sealed at 2 pm today. Delhi Metro services at Udyog Bhavan and Central Secretariat stations will be briefly suspended during the function.
‘Clean India Mission’ includes elimination of open defecation, conversion of insanitary toilets to pour flush toilets, eradication of manual scavenging, Municipal Solid Waste Management, bringing about a behavioural change among people regarding healthy sanitation practices, generating awareness among citizens about sanitation and its linkages with public health.
It also calls for strengthening of urban local bodies to design, execute and operate systems to fulfil these objectives and creating an enabling environment for private sector participation in capital expenditure and operational expenditure.