Majority of people living in villages as well as cities of Jammu and Kashmir are still unaware of their responsibility towards keeping the state clean and green. Hygiene and sanitation is the need of the hour not only for our progressive nation yearning to be super power but for this crown of the country called Jammu and Kashmir.
For creating civic sense and to make it a mass movement, our visionary Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Swachh Bharat Mission at Rajpath in New Delhi on October 2, 2014. The mission was not restricted to New Delhi but launched throughout length and breadth of the country as a national movement including Jammu and Kashmir. He said a clean India would be the best tribute India could pay to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th Birth Anniversary in 2019 as he liked cleanliness throughout his life.
He not only exhorted upon his followers but himself participated with alacrity. People from different sections of the society have come forward and joined this mass movement of cleanliness viz government officials to Jawans, Bollywood actors to sportspersons, industrialists to spiritual leaders, all lined up for the noble work. In addition, PM on numerous occasions urged for not taking it up as a political activity but asked for mass movement to make India neat and clean.
In pursuance of call of PM, several NDA Ministers at centre and state level participated in Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan but alas opposition parties did not take it seriously. But despite this mass movement, not much has changed in Jammu and Kashmir. Public places like Railway Station, Bus Stand or other public gathering places give dirty look due to heaps of garbage and filth scattered all over. This attitude of public and local administration does raise concerns on how Swachh Bharat Mission would become a success in Jammu and Kashmir.
Not to speak of general public people, even civic bodies like Municipal Corporations, Municipal Councils, Town area committees and Panchayats are not performing their duties sincerely and least bothered about this mission. These agencies are main pillars to achieve the target of Swachh Bharat Mission as their role cannot be denied in this field. First of all, civic bodies are supposed to provide infrastructures like dumpers and sufficient vehicles to carry garbage from the colonies.
It has been seen that several colonies are without dustbins and people are forced to throw it on road sides. In some cases, Safai Karamcharies only visit once in a week. Several of our civic bodies are understaffed, having meager resources of revenue and above all dedicated staff. Swachh Bharat Mission is a unique movement but it would take long time to connect general public by creating awareness but immediate steps government can do is to pull civic bodies.
First of all grievances of civic bodies should be addressed and then they could be asked to perform their duties with utmost seriousness and sensibility. If Jammu and Kashmir has to achieve Swachh Bharat Mission by October 2, 2019; Civic Bodies should gear-up and government on its part should ensure that people of the state are involved in making the state an example of others to follow.