Major cleanliness drive in UP villages to focus on single-use plastic
The Uttar Pradesh government plans to launch an extensive cleanliness drive with a special focus on single-use plastic goods on October 2, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The move comes amid selection of the state’s 2025 villages for the Swachh Survekshan Gramin-2019 launched by the Centre a month ago.
The campaign against the single-use plastic has already gained momentum in cities and it may now resound in villages as well after October 2.
“We have planned an extensive cleanliness campaign involving locals, their representatives, block staff etc in all the village panchayats on October 2,” director, panchayati raj, Brham Dev Ram Tiwari said.
“Collection of single-use plastic goods and their disposal will be given priority during the campaign,” he added.
Tiwari said flag-hoisting will also be organised in all the village panchayats on Gandhi Jayanti. There are around 60,000 village panchayats in UP.
He said orders for a ban on the single-use plastic goods were being implemented in all the village panchayats.
“Side by side, we have also chalked out a programme to create awareness among the villagers through various activities like drawing, painting, posters and banners, meetings and workshops, all highlighting the importance of cleanliness, including abandoning single-use plastic,” he said.
Priority in banning single-use plastic is being given to over 1600 villages situated along the Ganga. These villages have already been declared open defecation free (ODF).
The Union ministry of Jal Shakti has selected 2025 villages covering all 75 districts in UP for the Swachh Survekshan Gramin- 2019, the second in a row, to provide national rankings of all districts and states of the country on the basis of quantitative and qualitative sanitation parameters, including self-reporting by districts and village-level surveys of public places like schools, public health centres and anganwadi kendras.
“Availability of usable toilets, situation of water logging and plastic litter are among the main components to assess the cleanliness in villages in the current survey, which may be completed by October 2,” said sources.
Eight of UP’s 75 districts have been selected for information education and communication (IEC) and environment monitoring management (EMM) assessment. They are Ghaziabad, Ghazipur, Gonda, Kanpur Dehat, Rae Bareli, Rampur, Fatehpur and Banda.
“Constructing toilets and banning single-use plastic is not enough unless the activities are take up to bring about behavioural changes in villagers to get them used to changes. That is why the IEC and EMM have been given weightage in the cleanliness survey,” the sources said.