Pursuit of cleanliness can be an economic activity: Modi

12 September 2014

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for a change in the attitude of the administration towards hygiene and sanitation and wants it linked to every economic activity.

Addressing a high-level meeting on `Mission Swacch Bharat' on Thursday, the prime minister said the pursuit of cleanliness can be an economic activity, contributing to GDP growth and reducing healthcare costs, while also acting as a source of employment.

''`Mission Swacch Bharat' will be launched on 2 October, with Gandhiji as the inspiration, to create a Clean India of Gandhiji`s dreams by the Mahatma`s 150th birth anniversary in 2019,'' the prime minister said.

He wanted all government departments to actively participate in the mission. Government offices up to panchayat level will be involved in a cleanliness drive that will be conducted from 25 September till Diwali, he said.

''If the people of India clean their homes in due course around Diwali every year, why can this attitude not be extended to overall cleanliness and Swacch Bharat?'' the prime minister asked. He also called for a change in governance attitude towards hygiene and sanitation.

He said the pursuit of cleanliness can be an economic activity, contributing to GDP growth, reduction in healthcare costs, and a source of employment.

The prime minister said world-class levels of hygiene and cleanliness are required to bring about a paradigm shift in the perception about India among global tourists. He said at least the top fifty tourist destinations in the country should match global standards in cleanliness and hygiene.

He reiterated his vision of solid waste management and waste water management through the public-private participation (PPP) model in 500 towns and cities across India.

The meeting was attended by union ministers Arun Jaitley, Venkaiah Naidu and Nitin Gadkari, principal secretary to the prime minister, cabinet secretary and other senior government officials.

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