Government plans to come up with 100 model ‘Swachh Tourist Destinations’ under a special clean-up initiative focused on developing iconic heritage, spiritual and cultural places in the country as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet programme Swachh Bharat Mission.
“Under the Swachh Bharat Mission, it has been decided to undertake a special clean-up initiative focused on 100 iconic heritage, spiritual and cultural places in the country. The list of these 100 places is under discussion and will be finalised soon.
“The initiative has been undertaken under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” the statement said.
Ten such places including Taj Mahal in Agra, Golden Temple in Punjab, Vaishno Devi in Jammu and Kashmir, Jagannath Puri in Odisha and Manikarnika ghaat in Modi’s Parliamentary constituency Varanasi, have already been selected in first phase of the programme.
The names of all these destinations will be finalised soon, an official statement said.
Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation will be the coordinating Ministry for this initiative, in association with the Ministry of Urban Development, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Tourism and the concerned state governments.
It said the aim of this initiative is to make these 100 places model ‘Swachh Tourist Destinations’ that will enhance the experience for visitors from India and abroad.
Other places selected in phase one of the programme are Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Maharashtra, Tirupati Temple in Andhra Pradesh, Ajmer Sharif Dargah in Rajasthan, Meenakshi Temple in Tamil Nadu and Kamakhya Temple in Assam.
The lessons and experiences from phase one will be integrated into the clean-up campaign for the remaining 90 sites.
In order to ensure better coordination with the state teams, a video conference was held with all Chief Secretaries and Secretaries of the relevant departments of the concerned states in which they shared the clean-up work that is already underway, and listed the key challenges to be faced.
“The secretaries of the central ministries expressed full support to the states in terms of technical assistance and also requested the states to converge resources for the clean-up under ongoing central programmes, such as the Swachh Bharat Mission and the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT)
“The state officials were asked to present a detailed plan of action for the clean-up within two weeks,” the statement said.