New Delhi: Claiming that there has been a good response among the residents of the Walled City to the 'Swachh Bharat Mission', Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday said that people in Old Delhi are "tired" of living in the midst of "decay and apathy".
Accompanied by senior officials of North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), community leaders and BJP workers, the minister led a cleanliness drive in the area from Turkman Gate to Hauz Qazi on the occasion of Eid-ul-Zuha (Bakrid).
"I have detected a good response in the Walled City to the prime minister's call for cleanliness. The people here are tired of living in the midst of decay and apathy. Over the past two days, I have visited many parts of Old Delhi and motivated the people to come forward and become partners of the civic authorities in keeping their neighbourhoods clean," Vardhan said.
The minister said the auspicious day of Eid "should be the most appropriate day" for launching a social movement centred around sanitation and health.
"The egalitarian principles associated with this day should be celebrated by people. They should brush aside social positions to pick up the broom and implement the prime minister's vision of 'Swachh Bharat'," Vardhan said.
Crowds followed Vardhan as he walked around the lanes of the Walled City. Starting from Turkman Gate, he went to Haj Manzil, Phatak Teliyan, Shankar Gali, Chaurasi Ghanta, Sitaram Bazar, Kucha Maidass, Lal Darwaza, Gali Sheesh Mahal and Hauz Kazi.
Vardhan inspected public toilets in the area and directed NDMC Municipal Commissioner PK Gupta and his civic engineers to ensure that five of these, which were in a "dilapidated state", are repaired immediately.
He also directed them to build a few more public toilets saying that their present number "was not sufficient". Civic officials and engineers were also asked to expeditiously redress any grievances of the public.
Corporation officials were asked to carry out thorough renovation of the community hall at Phatak Teliyan and add a new floor to the single-storey facility.
He directed that the archways of Phatak Teliyan and Turkman Gate be maintained in a manner "befitting their heritage status" in consultation with the Archaeological Survey of India.
"Two days back, traders in Fatehpuri launched their own initiative to clean up the markets of the Walled City by imposing a code of conduct which includes disciplinary measures against those failing to clean the streets. They did not wait for the civic authorities. This is indeed a model for the rest of the country," Vardhan added.