Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s messages for a Swachh Bharat seem to be falling on deaf ears within his own administration with key government buildings like Shastri Bhawan and Krishi Bhawan languishing at the bottom of a cleanliness ranking prepared by the Central Public Works Department(CPWD).
Even the office of the urban development ministry — the nodal agency implementing the Swachh Bharat Mission in urban areas — has a dismal record.
The list, prepared last month after a survey by the CPWD, rates 29 central government offices in the Capital on parameters such as sanitation infrastructure (10 points), overall cleanliness (8 points) and availability of dustbins (2 points) in the building premises.
At the bottom are Shastri Bhawan and Krishi Bhawan, aggregating a poor eight while the Lok Nayak Bhawan in Khan Market scored 10 points.
The North Block, which houses the crucial ministries of finance and home, scored 12 points out of a maximum 20, along with Udyog Bhawan (office of the commerce ministry) and Nirman Bhawan (health and housing and urban development ministries).
Rashtrapati Bhawan and the South Block --which houses the key offices of PMO, defence and foreign affairs – do not find a mention in the top 5. They scored 14 points each. Of the 29 buildings surveyed, 14 scored between 14 and 16 points.
Three buildings topped the list with a perfect 20 – the Hyderabad House, Vigyan Bhawan and the Jawaharlal Nehru Bhawan. The toppers are no surprise as these premises are used sparingly to host dignitaries and hold important seminars. They also do not see the heavy footfall of thousands of government employees and visitors like the Shastri Bhawan and Krishi Bhawan. Their relatively small area also makes them easy to maintain.
The urban development ministry, which looks over the CPWD, has circulated the ratings to all concerned ministries and departments for remedial action to improve sanitation and cleanliness.
The survey coincided with the second round of a week-long cleanliness drive launched by the government on June 22 under the Swachh Bharat mission.