The authorities in Agra on Friday warned people that action would be taken against encroachers and garbage dumbers in the city. The warning was issued a fortnight after Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Clean India Campaign.
Agra city magistrate Rajesh Kumar Srivastav ordered encroachers to immediately vacate public roads and ensure free flow of traffic and asked officials to identify garbage dumpers so that action can be taken against them.
"The image of the city should not be tarnished by encroachments and squalor. No one should occupy pavements to set up kiosks," he said. Any encroachment around monuments would be firmly dealt with, he added.
Local residents Sudershan Dua and Anand Rai said by linking law and order with encroachments and littering, Srivastav has "shown courage and opened a new line of action".
Shravan Kumar Singh, an activist, said: "Now, how the district administration plans to use it for promoting cleanliness remains to be seen."
Padmini Iyer, who was associated with ‘MycleanIndia’ campaign, said: "If we cannot keep India’s number one tourist destination clean and green, a big question mark would tag Modi’s swachha mission."
‘MycleanIndia’ campaign was started in 2007 by Remco van Santen, an Australian national who follows Gandhian way of life.
Talking to IANS from Australia, Santen said: "Do you know why there is a ‘My’ in ‘My Clean India’? I feel the PM (Modi) is right to say that a clean India will give as much joy as the Quit India campaign. My Clean India is about us, you and I, about not pointing the fingers at others, as I had encountered in 2007."
Santen also urged people to "take on this challenge to create a clean India …India is an amazing country and in many respects a model for the world. That is why, I love India and its people".
(With inputs from IANS)