West Bengal Housing and Infrastructure Development Corporation (WBHIDCO) has proposed to slap a fine of Rs 100 for littering in open space. It has taken a number of steps to create awareness among people to keep New Town clean. Cleanliness week organised by WBHIDCO and New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) is being observed throughout New Town. It may be mentioned that in Prakriti Tirtha, a person is fined for littering in open space and cleanliness is the USP of the new tourist destination where the footfall of visitors have crossed 2 lakh.
“The government agencies cannot keep a township or a city clean and to do this cooperation from the citizens is a must and both should work hand in hand. The response we are getting from people is quite impressive,” Debashis Sen, chairman of WBHIDCO and additional chief secretary Urban Development department said.
The idea of cleanliness drive was mooted by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at an administrative meeting. In addition to WBHIDCO and NKDA, UD department is also carrying the drive out where every employee has been asked to contribute to keep the office spaces clean. The departments have been asked to give presentations of their work which gives them impetus. To keep a city or an office or an area clean the mindset of people need to be changed, Sen said. WBHIDCO has divided the area into zones known as grid and put them up under senior officials for proper monitoring of the work.
Posters, banners and leaflets have been distributed among people to create awareness about cleanliness. The agency has procured more waste bins which will be installed across New Town.
A cleanliness drive was conducted at the island inside Prakrititirtha or Eco Park on Friday morning. A similar drive was conducted at Mother’s Wax Museum. Debashis Sen was present in both the drives. A citizen’s meet was held in the evening to make the week a successful one.
It may be mentioned that New Town is being developed as a green city. Steps have been taken to increase the green cover. Replacing the street lights by LED lights has been proposed. Tall tree nurseries have been set up and over 40,000 saplings have been planted.
“Green city and clean city go hand in hand. A green city should be clean and the steps taken by WBHIDCO in this direction are appreciated,” said a retired High Court judge.