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Latest: Swaccha Maharashtra Abhiyan
Following the footsteps of the central government, the state government of Maharashtra has launched its cleanliness drive - Swaccha Maharashtra Abhiyan. This mainly involves taking concrete steps to end open defecation and treating solid waste. The focus is on these two issues because of directives from central government and National Green Tribunal (NGT). However, there are other issues too that will be addressed.

According to the sources the aim of the mission was sevenfold. The first was to end open defecation, second is to end the practice of handling faeces with bare hands and third - doing solid waste management through latest technology. The other aims are creating awareness about cleanliness and their direct relation with health of humans, promoting cleanliness practices among citizens so they become a habit, increasing the financial and technical capacity of urban local bodies (ULBs) and creating a conducive atmosphere for private investment in solid waste management as well as operation of the facilities.

In order to achieve these objectives, the state government will chalk out a comprehensive cleanliness plan. This includes preparing a cleanliness plan at city level, defining cleanliness by the state government and a state policy for cleanliness. Another policy will be formulated for promoting cleanliness among citizens. The government has identified some other focus areas under the mission. The sanitary workers who handle faeces with bare hands in urban areas will be identified and then the insanitary toilets will be made sanitary ones. Simultaneously, these workers will be rehabilitated. Also, steps will be taken to improve the conditions under which rag pickers work for solid waste management.

Adequate number of toilets will be built for migrant workers and urban homeless. It will be compulsory for the contractors to provide temporary toilets to the construction workers. Priority will be given to retired persons, girl child, pregnant women and suckling mothers while constructing personal toilets.

A management board will be formed for implementing this mission. It will be headed by the Chief Minister and will have 16 members. Other persons can be inducted as members by the CM. The prominent members of the committee are ministers for finance, women and child development, water supply and sanitation and industry. The minister of state for urban development will also be a member. A high power committee will also be formed under the chief secretary for monitoring of the implementation of the mission. It will approve the city cleanliness plans.

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