Nagaland govt responds: Mass cleanliness drive on Sept 30
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Kohima: Amid public outcry against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for a mass cleanliness drive on October 1 (Sunday), Nagaland government has responded by preponing the mass exercise on September 30.

“The State of Nagaland also along with the rest of the country will be taking part in the mega cleanliness drive, which has been decided to be carried out across the State on 30th September 2023 (Saturday) at 10 am, instead of 1 October 2023, on account of the designated day falling on a Sunday,” an order issued by Principal Secretary (Home) Abhijit Sinha said.

The order designated all respective Deputy Commissioners as nodal officers for planning, taking measures as necessary, and coordinating with all the ULB Administrators for the urban areas, and all the BDOS for the rural areas, and district officers of other departments/agencies as may be required, for ensuring successful execution of all the activities in regard to the cleanliness drive in the districts.

At the State level, the nodal officer for overall coordination of the entire cleanliness drive will be the Commissioner, Nagaland, the order stated.

As part of the Swachhata Pakhwada – Swachhata Hi Seva (SHS) 2023, a massive cleanliness drive was announced as a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, on the eve of his birth anniversary.

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A copy of the D.O. letter No 2/8/2019-SBM dated 22 09:2023 from Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, and Department of Drinking Water & Sanitation. Ministry of Jal Shakti, Government of India, addressed to all the States, gave in detail the manner in which the cleanliness drive is proposed to be carried out, and the actions that need to be taken.

Following the announcement, several church bodies and civil society organisations in Nagaland condemned the mass cleanliness drive, which is scheduled on Sunday, a day that Christians consider as a day of rest and worship.

The NSCN-IM had also condemned the mass cleanliness drive on a Sunday. “For any such nationwide drive for cleanliness, the sentiment attached with the spirit of secularism must be rightfully respected. Naga people will stand as one Christian family to resist such cleanliness initiative that defies the mutual respect for different faiths that reflects the secular character of India. NSCN cannot remain as mere spectator to any policy or initiative that obstructs and undermine Christian faith,” said the NSCN-IM.

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