Urban Development Ministry has approached the Election Commission of India (ECI) to allow it to continue the advertisement campaign under the central flagship programme Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) as the Model Code of Conduct has come into effect in five states with the announcement of poll dates.
In a letter to ECI Senior Principal Secretary R K Srivastava, Joint Secretary in Urban Development Ministry and SBM Mission Director Praveen Prakash has requested for a No Objection Certificate to carry on the advertisements under the SBM which aims for a clean India by October 2019.
The copy of the letter was also marked to Election Commissioners O P Rawat and A K Joti.
Urban Development Ministry has been running various communication campaigns under the mission in all states on television, radio, print media and outdoor media such as hoarding and posters through Directorate of Advertising and Publicity (DAVP).
Currently, the ministry is running two major campaigns the ‘Asli Tarraki’ aimed at behaviour change to stop open defecation and advertisements to make people aware of and participate in ‘Swachh Survekshan’, a survey which began on January 4 to rank 500 cities across the country on cleanliness.
Given the recent announcements of Assembly elections in 5 states, the DAVP would like an NOC from the office of the Election Commission, in order to continue to run these advertisements on TV, radio, outdoor etc as per the ongoing approved schedule.
“Since these advertisement are a part of our ongoing campaign and have been running on public domain for the past many months, we would like to request you to kindly issue a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to allow DAVP to continue to run these campaigns in all the states, on behalf of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban),” Prakash said.
Given the time-bound nature of the mission to reach its goal, he said it is necessary for the nodal ministry, Urban Development Ministry, to carry out extensive multimedia communication campaigns targeted towards changing citizens’ behaviour away from the prevalent practice of open defecation and unsafe waste management.
Model Code of Conduct came into effect in five states– Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand and Manipur–from January 4, the day Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi announced the poll schedule.
The high-stakes assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh will be held in seven phases between February 11 and March 8, while Punjab and Goa will go to polls together on February 4, Uttarakhand on February 15 and Manipur in two phases on March 4 and 8, with counting to be held on March 11.