Varanasi, Dec 17 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday mooted the idea of publicising a list of cities where a blind eye has been turned to the cleanliness campaign so as to build public pressure on the authorities there to work.
Inaugurating the All India Mayors' Conference in Varanasi via video conferencing, he also suggested that cities with rivers celebrate "river festival" (Nadi Utsav) to spread the glory of rivers so that people take pride in them and keep them clean.
The prime minister said in several cities, rivers get ruined in due course, "at times reduced just to a dirty drain or a rainy season river".
"We have to adopt a sensitive approach towards rivers," he told the conference on the theme of 'New Urban India'.
As many as 120 mayors from across the country are participating in the conference. The prime minister exhorted them to build their political career using the opportunity they have got the serve the people.
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was the mayor of Ahmedabad city during the colonial era when it was a nagar palika, the PM told them. "Sardar sahab started his journey from there, and today, the nation remembers him."
Stressing on cleanliness, he asked Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri to not only give awards to the city excelling in cleanliness but also recognise those making earnest efforts towards cleanliness.
"Also prepare a list of cities that have kept their eyes closed as if they have nothing to do. We should come out with a list, and publicise them. After this, there will be so much pressure from the public that everybody will want to work," he said.
"All the mayors should resolve that in the coming competition, their city does not lag behind."
The prime minister stressed the cleanness drive should not be a once-in-a-year affair and proposed hosting a monthly inter-ward contest on beautification to nudge them to work continuously for cleanliness.
"Like cleanliness, beautification is also important. Can we organise a beautification contest so as to find the most beautiful ward. The parameters can be cleanliness, beautification initiatives, how the walls have been painted, boards of shops and the signboards," Modi said.