New Delhi, June 23 (IANS) The Central government has identified 10 iconic places for observing international standards of cleanliness under the Prime Minister’s flagship ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’ with the help of the World Bank, officials said here on Thursday.
The government said it is also in the process of drafting standard operating procedures (SOP) to ensure cleanliness and waste management at 10 national parks and tiger reserves.
The ‘iconic’ places identified are Vaishno Devi (Jammu and Kashmir), Taj Mahal, Agra, Manikarnika Ghat-Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh), Kamakhya Temple (Assam), Jagannath Puri(Odisha), Ajmer Sharif Dargah (Rajasthan), Meenakshi Amman Temple (Tamil Nadu), Balaji temple Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh), Golden Temple, Amritsar (Punjab) and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai, (Maharashtra).
“We have selected 10 iconic places where with the technical assistance of the World Bank, we will uphold international standards for cleanliness,” Parameswaran Iyer, Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation, said here.
He said the government had also sought help from international experts and a team of the World Bank officials would visit these places and hold a meeting in the first week of July.
Adding that the state governments are already working towards this, Iyer along with Ajay Narayan Jha, Secretary, Environment and Forest Ministry, told reporters that the initiative will require participation of corporate houses, both private and public, and people.
The officials said the ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’, the flagship programme of Prime Ministers Narendra Modi, has made “remarkable progress” in the past 18 months and is “very much on track”.
The 10 protected areas taken up for special cleanliness drive are Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary (Andhra Pradesh), Gir Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park (Gujarat), Kanha Tiger Reserve (Madhya Pradesh), Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve and Flamingo Sanctuary (Maharashtra), Nagarhole Tiger Reserve (Karnataka), Periyar Tiger Reserve (Kerala), Sariska Tiger Reserve (Rajasthan), Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (Tamil Nadu) and Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve (Uttarakhand).
Jha said the locations were decided on the basis of higher annual footfall.