New Delhi: Surprise raids to check the cleanliness of localities and strict deadlines for local authorities are among the steps proposed by Delhi`s seventh woman mayor Rajni Abbi, a Delhi University law professor and first-time councillor.
"My top priority will be to improve the sanitation situation in Delhi. If needed, I will conduct surprise visits to all the 272 wards of Delhi to assess the sanitation situation myself," Abbi said in an interview.
"My personal visits will also keep the officials on their toes," she added.
A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) councillor from Mukherjee Nagar ward of north Delhi, 49-year-old Abbi was elected mayor April 20, when she defeated Savita Sharma of the Congress by 88 votes.
Abbi visited seven wards in Rohini area early Wednesday and asked authorities to clear the garbage piling up at many low lying areas.
"I have given 10 days` time to the sanitation officers to report about the action they have taken," she said.
Non-availability of public toilets outside central Delhi is still a concern, despite promises by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and the directions issued by the Delhi High Court.
In fact, a visitor to the Indian capital is often surprised by the wide disparities in cleanliness standards of different parts of the city. The physically handicapped population of the city also faces a tough time as the public conveniences are often not designed keeping them in mind.
Asked how the MCD will respond to the sanitation challenges facing the city, she said: "Definitely, a lot of work is to be done. I believe that the corporation will do whatever is necessary to make the city clean but the biggest challenge is to increase awareness among the people."
"We will start fresh inspections to see what can be done to help the disabled," she added.
Abbi said the MCD will launch a new mass awareness campaign to ask Delhiites to keep their surroundings clean.
"In fact, we have started a scheme for all ward committees in which members from all local RWAs (resident welfare associations) will assemble for a meeting every month and we will take up the sanitation issues in those meetings," she added.
The MCD has received about 1,000 applications in this regard and May 5 has been set as the date for beginning the programme, Abbi said.
Among other things, she also plans an image makeover for the MCD.