NEW DELHI: The government today 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.
"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. "
"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."