In an endeavour to widen the scope and awareness about Swachh Bharat Mission among the citizens and communities, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has decided to organise its thematic Swachh campaign in National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Tiger Reserves and Zoos, which attracts lakhs of visitors, especially youth and children from across the country. The programme outlines were presented by the Ministry officials during Swacchhta Pakhwada (fortnight) from June 1-15. The Protected Areas (PAs) are spread over approximately 1.61 lakh sq. km and about 32 lakh visitors come annually to the Tiger Reserves alone. Delhi Zoo has about 25 lakh visitors annually. Though cleanliness is a standard management practice for PAs and MoEF&CC extends assistance to States on this aspect also, as per the Action Plans proposed by the States, the campaigns were designed to focus on sensitising the visitors and tourists on issues such as solid waste management, prevention of littering and overall cleanliness of the park and surrounding areas.
Communications in that have been sent to all Principal Chief Conservators of Forest, Chief Wildlife Wardens, Director of Delhi Zoo, Central Zoo Authority, Wildlife Institute of India, National Tiger Conservation Authority, Wildlife Crime Control Bureau and other agencies associated with the Wildlife Wing of the Ministry. Further, in order to extend the scope of Swachhta Campaign to include waste management concepts and recent regulations, a specific mandate of this Ministry, special drives were also launched in 10 select Protected Areas to sensitise the visitors on the regulatory regime for waste management. In particular, segregation, transportation and processing of wet waste at source as well as segregation of bio-degradable waste from other type of wastes were demonstrated.
Apart from that, World Bank will also assist Centre to begin a cleanliness drive at country’s 10 iconic places that attracts heavy footfall. The drive will be guided and supervised by foreign experts in order to keep the campaign at par with global standards. These 10 iconic places include Ajmer Sharif in Rajasthan, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Maharashtra, Golden Temple in Punjab, Jagannathpuri Temple in Odisha, Kamakshi Temple and Meenakshi Temple in Tamil Nadu, Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh, Taj Mahal and Manikarnika Ghat in Uttar Pradesh and Vaishno Devi in Jammu and Kashmir. The government is planning to begin cleaning drive at these 10 sites to set the bench mark of cleanliness standard for visitors and locals. Officials at ministry of Environment will lay down a roadmap for site-specific programme.