Despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressing on the Swachh Bharat campaign and the need to take it further in his Independence Day address on Saturday, not many present at the venue seemed to have got the message.
Just minutes after the speech came to an end, the decorated Red Fort premises was strewn with plastic water bottles, invites and speech booklets.
“It is a shame that even the Prime Minister’s speech on the need for keeping our surroundings clean could not motivate us to stop littering. People are throwing garbage in the same venue where the speech was made,” said Mitakshara Sengupta, a housewife and a resident of Defence Colony.
Besides the premises of the function, area around the Mughal-era fort was also littered.
School students, who had participated in the event, were seen carelessly throwing peels of bananas and packets of fruit drinks distributed to them as refreshments on the road and the fort’s ground.
People at the venue complained that there was no arrangement to collect the waste and even dustbins were not installed at the site.
Cops deployed at the venue said that the dustbins were sanitised because of security reasons. “To ensure that the dustbins do not get overloaded we prohibited visitors from bringing eatables. The sanitation staff was put to work to clean the premise soon after the function was over,” said a senior Delhi Police official.
However, there were some people who were seen collecting their litter while exiting the venue.
“It is a historic moment and people from across the globe are watching us. It is our responsibility to set a better example,” said, Mahesh Pandey, who was among the few who ensured that they did not dirty the venue.