New Delhi: The much-talked about cleanliness and anti-spitting drive of the New Delhi Municipal Council has failed to yield results, especially in Connaught Place with littered garbage and betel-nut stains still being common sights in the area.
The civic body had launched a cleanliness drive two months ago under the Centre's 'Swachh Bharat Mission' and followed it up with an anti-spitting drive in Connaught Place, to clean up the streets and walls of the famed market in central Delhi.
But, the municipal body said that their efforts went in vain as people did not cooperate with the campaign, and the penal measures are "not too strong" to evoke compliance with civic laws.
"The NDMC is working to keep the areas under its jurisdiction, especially the Connaught Place, clean, but the public, despite our best efforts, does not cooperate," a senior official working with the cleanliness project said.
The civic body had launched a 'May I Help You' force in October, with a squad of 50 trained guards to check the nuisance of spitting and littering in its areas.
"We have put up big hoardings in Connaught Place to spread public awareness but still visitors litter the area, despite dustbins being kept nearby," the official said.
The drive was started with an intention to issue challans on those found littering, officials said, adding, almost 5,000 challans have been issued till now.
However, NDMC does not have any authority to collect spot-challan from the offenders, like the traffic police have.
"We can only issue challan, which then goes to the court of municipal magistrate. Since there is no money involved, it does not have a strong impact on the public as the civic agency cannot take on the spot action," he said, adding, some times the offenders give wrong addresses and it is not possible for the court to summon them.
The official also said that the Supreme Court had given them the authority to fine Rs 50 on those found littering but since the amount is so little, people don't "take the penalty seriously".
Earlier, NDMC had undertaken cleaning of backlanes of several colonies and areas which attract a high footfall of visitors, like Hanuman Temple Road, Sarojini Nagar market, Connaught Place, among others.
It had also started door-to-door services to collect garbage and directed its tricycle rickshaws to collect garbage thrice a day instead of its earlier plan of just once a day.