The Madurai City Corporation is set to receive a special award from the Centre as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. As on October 1, the Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple has been adjudged the ‘Swachh Iconic Place’ in India. This was part of an initiative by the Central Government to identify ten spots as part of the Swachh Iconic Places in India.
The award will be received by Madurai District Collector K. Veera Raghava Rao and Corporation Commissioner S. Aneesh Sekhar on October 2. It will be conferred by Uma Bharati, the Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation. Speaking of the measures taken by the township authorities in keeping the temple premises clean, Shekhar said that the temple project focuses on cleaning the periphery of the temple. It is in the early stages and is slated to be complete by Mmarch 2018. The project is estimated to cost ₹11.65 crores and has been sponsored by Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility fund.
Shekhar further added, "We have been awarded for the swift progress that has been made until now. We are proud that we have been chosen among the other 10 iconic places."
The Madurai Corporation has placed several bins at a distance of 50 meters from the Chithirai streets. In fact, a total of 63 compact bins for biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste have been placed and four compactor trucks do the rounds around the temple premises. There are in all 25 e-toilets and 15 ATMs for tourists to use. Two road sweepers and battery operated vehicles have been deployed for the timely cleaning of the stretch.
The target of the authorities is to make the four main roads leading to the temple square-Chithirai, Masi, Avani Moola Streets and Veli Streets-100% plastic-free.
Dr Shekhar also said that Rs 25 lakh would be invested in the maintenance and upkeeping of the Meenakshi Park between East and North Chithirai streets. He further added, "Five traffic islands would be strategically placed for beautification purposes. A mini sewage treatment plant too is in the pipeline. The treated water will be used for gardening purposes."