New slum cleanliness scheme wait gets longer

The implementation of Swacha Mumbai Prabodhan Abhiyan (SMPA) is likely to be delayed further. Citing procedure, BMC has extended the controversial Dattak Vasti Yojana, to be replaced by SMPA, till March 31. Contracts under the old programme have been receiving extensions since September, when their term expired.

The cleaning programme is for 600 slums in the city. Learning from mistakes of Dattak Vasti Yojana, the new scheme has been redesigned for higher transparency.

"Some formalities need to be completed before SMPA can be implemented. Meantime, slums cannot be left dirty. So, old contracts will be extended...," said a letter signed by additional municipal commissioner Mohan Adtani.

The letter emphasised the community-based organisations for every 1,000 slum-dwellers will continue to receive a salary of Rs 4,950 per month.

BMC introduced Dattak Vasti Yojana in 2001 in slums where it did not provide cleanliness services. However, the scheme ran into controversy in 2011, when allegations of misappropriation of funds were made. In the new policy suggested, work done by groups employed will be inspected and photographs taken to track progress.

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