Need to scale up efforts to meet ‘Clean India’ target: Harsh Vardhan

Union Minister Harsh Vardhan has said the Narendra Modi government is committed to making the country clean and there has been a “satisfactory” progress in the Clean India campaign but there is a need to scale up efforts to achieve the ambitious goal by 2019.

“There is a need to change people’s mindset. The cleanliness campaign is a social movement and there has been a satisfactory progress in it in the last two years. But efforts have to be scaled up to meet the target by October 2, 2019 and the process is underway,” he said.

The Science and Technology Minister was speaking at the first summit of Global Interfaith Wash Alliance (GIWA) in Leh on Monday, when he, along with Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and around 25 religious leaders from different faiths, took a pledge to address water, sanitation and hygiene-related issues.

“The Modi government is committed to making India clean and step are being taken in that direction. The Prime Minister has himself said it is shameful that women have to defecate in the open and wait for darkness to settle in before they can go out to relieve themselves.

“In the last two years, a record more than two crore toilets have been built under the Clean India campaign. The Prime Minister himself monitors the situation in meetings on Wednesdays. About 4.25 lakh toilets have been constructed exclusively for girls in around 2.75 lakh schools,” he said. The minister said the campaign is not only limited to constructing toilets.

“We are using science and technology to support it. We are exploring ways to develop techniques for solid, electronic and bio-waste management,” he said. “The Indian Institute of Petroleum is finding ways to use plastic waste for producing biofuels like petrol and diesel. Similarly, the National Physical Laboratory, Delhi, is coming up with ideas to turn plastic waste into low-cost and lightweight toilets. We are using science to convert waste into wealth,” Harsh Vardhan said.

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