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MTDC gears up to tackle rubbish at heritage sites

Will undertake a clean-up drive at Shaniwarwada, Rajmachi Fort and Karla Caves next month to attract tourists

As part of the 'Clean India' campaign, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation's (MTDC)'s Pune division has decided to undertake a clean-up drive at three heritage sites in and around the city.


Clean allure: Shaniwarwada, a popular heritage site in the city, will be spruced up by the MTDC. File Pic

The special drive, the first of its kind undertaken by MTDC for the city’s monuments, will clear the areas surrounding Shaniwarwada, Karla Caves and Rajmachi Fort of litter. The cleanliness drive is expected to start next month. While Shaniwarwada is located in the city, the other two are in Lonavla.

Speaking about the initiative, the administrative head of MTDC, Shrikant Javkhedkar, said, “The main objective behind the drive is to attract tourists who choose not to visit such spots because they are unclean. Another reason why we took this up is that the civic administration doesn’t have adequate manpower to clean these landmarks.”

Clean India
In July last year, the central tourism ministry had launched the ‘Clean India’ campaign at the Taj Mahal to attract
visitors to the country by improving cleanliness at tourist destinations.

“We have chosen the three spots to begin with. Panshet dam and Sinhagad Fort are also on our list,” added Javkhedkar.
MTDC officials said NGOs, civic administration, and NSS (National Service Scheme) students would be approached for help in the drive.

Funding
The MTDC is planning to tap into the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) funds set aside by corporate companies to fund their campaign.

“It is mandatory for certain profitable enterprises to use their profits on social welfare activities under the CSR
programme. Therefore, we have decided to involve the corporate sector in our plan to overcome the shortage of funds,” Javkhedkar said.

MTDC officials have decided to complete the cleanliness drive at the three sites before the monsoon ends.

“Visitors prefer to visit tourist spots after the monsoons, so it is essential to complete the drive during the rainy season,” Javkhedkar said.

He added that a cleanliness awareness campaign will also be undertaken simultaneously, wherein banners will be displayed at these sites.

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