An unclean national capital should come more as a stigma rather than indirect realisation. But it seems certain that for the three municipal corporations of Delhi, the indirect realisation factor might work better. Until and unless we in the civil society prod the largely ineffective civic bodies, how would they be able to motivate their staff of nearly 60,000 permanent and temporary safai karamcharis? Why exactly are the three bodies not being questioned about their obvious worthlessness when it comes to something as basic as cleaning the city? With a total of 397.3 square kilometres under the jurisdiction of the civic bodies and each safai karamchari being assigned a mere 25 square metre under his or her purview, why is Delhi still unclean? Over and above that, the corporations sound audacious enough when they say that every karamchari performs his or her duty properly.
The properness of the duty can be seen in accumulated heaps of garbage all along roadsides in the national capital and the special flavour is provided by the unbearable stench which it emanates. With such fallible standards, only the corporations can tell how would they go about achieving Modi’s dream of a Swachh Bharat by 2019? It is true foreign junkets are now being done away with but really, should we buy this as an excuse when people in authority claim ideas to manage waste better come from cities tucked away in pristine surroundings? To instil a basic sense of cleanliness, one needs to apply common sense and not fly away to a distant location.
In fact, with just one day left for the PM to kickstart his Clean India campaign, it will be interesting to observe if the civic agencies will or will not be able to mobilise their cadres. Till then, the BJP-run municipal bodies can have their
autumn siesta at least.