Ten spots identified by the Centre as part of initiative
The famed Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple in Madurai has been adjudged the second-best ‘Swachh Iconic Place’ (clean place) in India.
Madurai Corporation Commissioner S. Visakan received the award from the Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat in New Delhi recently.
Ten places were identified by the Central government as part of the ‘Swachh Iconic Places’ initiative earlier this year.
Mr. Visakan said combined efforts were made to ensure the cleanliness of the periphery of the temple. The Corporation had placed separate bins at a distance of 50 metres along the Chithirai Streets. A total of 63 compactor bins (for segregating biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste) have been placed, and four compactor trucks do the rounds around the temple premises. “There are dedicated teams of conservancy workers who are working round-the-clock to ensure the cleanliness of the premises. After the Chithirai festival, huge mounds of garbage were cleared from the streets within four hours,” said Mr. Visakan.
There are also 25 e-toilets and 15 drinking water purifiers for tourists. There are five battery-operated vehicles to ensure smooth passage for tourists. The presence of signboards at crucial points has helped visitors navigate around the temple.
“Raids on plastics were conducted and awareness was created to ensure 100% plastic-free zones around the temple,” Mr. Visakan said. The temple, which was adjudged the best ‘Swachh Iconic Place’ in 2017, did not figure on the list in 2018.
Mr. Visakan said that under the Smart Cities Mission, the Chithirai, Masi and Avani Moola Streets would sport a new look by March 2020. He exuded confidence that next year, the temple will bag the best ‘Swachh Iconic Place’ award.