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Meeting discusses cleaning of iconic spots

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A plan for sprucing up 10 iconic sites – including Gujarat’s Somnath temple and Hyderabad’s Charminar – will be discussed at a meeting today, which will also look at the progress made in cleaning up another 10 locations chosen earlier. The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation will finalise a detailed action plan for the 10 additional spots for the Swachh Iconic Places (SIP) programme at the annual review meeting in New Delhi, a senior ministry official said.

The meeting will also discuss the first phase of the programme, under which 10 locations – including the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Manikarnika Ghat in Varanasi and the Taj Mahal in Agra – had earlier been selected. The ministry aims at cleaning up 100 places across India that are iconic because of their heritage, religious or cultural significance.

The second phase will include cleaning up the Church and Convent of St Francis of Assisi, Goa, Gaya Tirth, Bihar, Gangotri, Yamunotri, Mahakaleshwar Temple, Ujjain, Adi Shankaracharya abode Kaladi in Ernakulam, Gomateshwara in Shravanabelagola and Baijnath Dham, Deoghar, the official said.

The programme seeks to improve cleanliness conditions at these popular places in partnership with the ministries of urban development, tourism and culture, and with MDWS as the nodal ministry.

The government has designated PSUs for financial and technical support for the sites. According to the official, an action plan will be chalked out for a time-bound implementation of the project. The PSUs involved in the Swachhata programme will also take part in the review meeting.

The 10 locations chosen earlier included Ajmer Sharif Dargah, CST Mumbai, Kamakhya Temple in Assam, Meenakshi Temple in Madurai, Vaishno Devi in Jammu, Jagannath Temple in Puri and the Tirupati Temple in Tirumala.