Taj city declares war on dirt

Agra, Nov 12 : For the first time in the Taj city, dozens of special motor vehicles fitted with equipments, tankers, dumpers, cranes joined a unique parade for total cleanliness of Agra, India's most popular tourist destination.

More than 10,000 students, social activists, politicians and safai karamcharis walked from the Agra College ground to the municipal corporation headquarter where Uttar Pradesh Minister Suresh Khanna administered an oath: "We will make cleanliness a part of our life."

Agra Mayor Navin Jain said: "We have taken up the challenge seriously.

Our efforts will now be totally focused on ensuring that no part of the city remains dirty any longer."

Agra, home to the Taj Mahal and located some 200 km south of New Delhi, has been dubbed the dirtiest city in the world by several celebrities.

But conditions are now beginning to change.

More than 16,000 public toilets have been built. The city has been declared open defecation free city. New garbage collection centres have been opened and door to door collection of garbage has been started in several colonies.

Agra generates around 700 tonnes of garbage daily.

But the municipal corporation does not have adequate facilities for processing the garbage or transferring it to the land fill sites across the Yamuna.

Social activist Rahul Raj said: "We are late by 70 years..Anyway, better late than never."

Many NGO activists questioned the relevance of the government sponsored rally which they said was a sheer waste of resources.



Source: IANS