Special Swachhta Campaign 2.0: Centre removes 900 obsolete rules

The government has removed 900 obsolete rules and redressed over three lakh grievances during the second phase of the Special Swachhta Campaign, V Srinivas, secretary, Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) said on Thursday.

“The drive has not only led to redressal of 3,05,268 public grievances, and removal of 900 obsolete rules but also generated Rs 254.21 crore in revenues from disposal of paper and electronic scrap under the Special Swachhta Campaign 2.0,” Srinivas told Business Standard.

During the first phase of the campaign in 2021, over Rs 62 crore were generated in revenue and 800 obsolete rules were removed. The Special Campaign 2.0 is being undertaken from October 2 to October 31 to clear scrap, electronic waste, obsolete files and documents.

Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Jitendra Singh stated in a press interaction on October 25 that the on-going drive is spread over not just the national capital but also remote offices in various states, foreign missions, postal department, railways, defence, pharmaceuticals, agriculture and even Raj Bhawans.

Singh underlined that the campaign includes disposal of electronic scrap and scavenging of archaic online files as well. As of now over 42 lakh physical files and about 4 lakh e-files were removed. The decision to close down the e-files was taken because they were occupying cloud space, Srinivas said. The exercise led to clearing of 37.19 Lakh square feet of space in 91,000 office sites.

The files are weeded out based on the guidelines of government records management practices. Only the files which have outlived their retention period are weeded out. The files of national historical values and have completed 25 years are transferred to the National Archives of India. Files which are to be maintained in the recordroom of the ministries are being conserved and maintained, Srinivas said.

“We realised during this campaign that the electronic scrap and other material was saleable and a source of revenue for the government. I am glad that this is a new source of income to the exchequer,” Singh said.

The waste is being sold to Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and self help groups which use these scars and make file cover, dashboard, etc. The revenue generated from the exercise goes into the Consolidated Fund of India. The fund will be used to meet India’s developmental needs, Srinivas said. The freed up space is used for parking, office space and carataria, etc.

Working on the concept of waste to wealth, the government has also set up Swachh ATMs where one can get money by disposing of plastic waste. The assessment of the Campaign 2.0 will be done from November 15 to November 30.

“Thereafter, the dissemination of the best practices will be conducted as part of the good governance week. The operationalization and monitoring of these parameters will be done throughout the year,” Srinivas said.


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