Framework for new slum-cleaning scheme discussed at BMC meet

A month after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) decided to replace the controversial Dattak Vasti Yojana — aimed at keeping slum areas clean — with the Swacha Mumbai Prabodhan Abhiyaan, a framework for the new scheme was discussed at the BMC standing committee meeting on Wednesday.

The new scheme, which focuses on keeping slum areas clean, incorporated the name 'Prabodhan' after 'Prabhodhankar', the pen name of former Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray's father. The Dattak Vasti Yojana was scrapped after it came under the scanner for alleged misappropriation of funds and monopoly by politicians.

"Guidelines for the new scheme have been framed after taking into consideration the flaws that emerged from the previous scheme. Under the new policy, the committee will be established by the mayor and corporators will give further recommendations for it. There will be regular inspections and necessary action or rewards depending on the nature of work done," said corporator Prakash Patil who put forth the proposal on Wednesday.

In 2001, the BMC had initiated the Dattak Vasti Yojana to keep slum areas clean. It was decided that slum areas where cleanliness services were not provided by the BMC would be covered under the scheme. However, the scheme ran into controversy in 2011 when news broke out that the scheme was wrought with corruption and that misappropriation of funds was taking place. The funds for implementation of the new scheme will be released after approval from the BMC's finance department.

As per the suggested policy, work done by the groups employed for the project will be inspected and photographs will be taken at the end of the day to track progress.

It was also suggested that top BMC officials from each ward be appointed to be part of the committee, which will monitor the work done in each ward.

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