National

Government plans to 'totally clean' 50 cities by March 2017

The Congress bastion of Rae Bareilly, Samajwadi Party's backyards in Etawah, Kannauj and Mainpuri, and Barh in Nitish Kumar's Nalanada are among the 50 towns government is targeting to turn '100% clean' under Swachh Bharat Mission by March 2017.

According to the plan, by next year, these 50 towns will achieve all Swachh Bharat Mission targets including Open Defecation Free (ODF) status through construction of individual, public and community toilets; house-to-house collection of garbage and 100% processing of the same through a solid waste management plan besides spot penalties for littering.

The deadline for achieving 100% progress on all mission components of PM's pet project is October 2, 2019. But, following a push by Prime Minister's office, the Group of Secretaries (GoS) fixed the new ambitious target of March 2017 in a presentation to the PM in January. The GoS also fixed a target of 2016-end to hit the mark of one lakh villages becoming ODF against nearly 54,000 villages as on date.

A senior central government official said selection of these 50 towns has been approved on the basis of recommendations by the respective states as per progress made in Swachh project there.

The maximum cities—nine—are from Uttar Pradesh. Rae Bareilly town in Sonia Gandhi's constituency is one of them. The UP Government has selected three of Samajwadi Party bastions - Mainpuri, Etawah and Kannauj.

Mulayam Singh Yadav and his daughter-in-law Dimple Yadav contested from Mainpuri and Kannauj respectively while Etawah is Yadav family's home district. Allahabad, Aligarh, Muzzafarnagar and Barabanki also feature in this list selected by UP.

The holy cities of Haridwar and Tirupati are also part of the 50-city list besides some state capitals like Shimla, Chandigarh, Raipur and Dehradun.

Source TOI

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