Chief Minister of Tripura, Biplab Deb has now made a potentially reformist announcement. Now, disposal of garbage in public places, roads and urinating in public will call for stringent action by authorities in the state. This decision, the CM informed, was in line with the NGT guidelines regarding waste disposal and sanitation. The CM was speaking at a workshop titled ‘Solid waste and Liquid resource Management’ where he said, “People dump garbage and poly bags in the open, clogging drains and the sewerage system. Some even urinate in public and spit on roads. We need to raise awareness to stop this menace”.
Tripura suffered at the hands of a lethargic Communist government for twenty-five long years till the BJP formed the state government with a stunning majority in 2018. Tripura also has one of the youngest and most dynamic Chief Ministers helping revive the state from its sorry condition which the Left rule put it into. Biplab Kumar Deb is no blue-eyed boy for the Lutyens and its ilk, however, he is slowly but surely attempting to perfect the art of governance. His focus on the important issue of cleanliness in the small state of Tripura sets an example for other state leaders to perform on this front.
In fact, the state government has also trained waste and rag pickers to collect garbage from the source and segregate it into plastic and non-plastic waste. The plastic waste would then be sent for recycling. Along with this, the public has also been warned about urinating in the open. Tripura is not the only state to be facing the menace of an unaware public that considers public property as their own to deface. To instil a sense of basic civic sense among the citizens, should be the primary focus of every government. It is commendable to see Tripura lead the way in this aspect. Discipline among the citizens is a prerequisite in ensuring a clean and hygienic atmosphere. This move of the Tripura government to penalize wrong-doers should set an example for other states to learn from and follow.
Not only has the government of the state advised the citizens to maintain cleanliness and hygiene, but even the administration has been warned with dire consequences if they fail to keep the state clean. Maintenance of public cleanliness has always been successful only if the general public is sufficiently aware and disciplined, and the administration is proactive. The CM, in a bid to increase the efficiency of the administration also informed that non-performing government officers would be forced to go on ‘compulsory retirement’. “It is easier to keep a small state like Tripura clean when compared to other big states like Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh or Tamil Nadu. Officials will be taken to task if they fail to perform their duties. Some might even be forced to go on compulsory retirement,” the CM said. While many states have similar rules and regulations, these rules are seldom enforced or taken seriously by the administration. However, Biplab Kumar Deb seems to be clear in his intent: defaulters will have to face action.
Tripura, like many states in India, faces a tough challenge to maintain cleanliness and proper sanitation. It is refreshing to see that Chief Minister, Biplab Kumar Deb understands the challenges that the menace of littering and general public indiscipline, collectively pose to the state. Most governments are overlook about simple but critical issues like hygiene and cleanliness, and many among them often shy away from directing citizens to maintain decorum while in public and not litter at will. That the Tripura government courageously direct citizens to obey their fundamental duties should be considered a case in study by other states and their governments, and should encourage them to perform on the lines of PM Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.