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  Home >> Cleanliness >>   Saaf Aangan (“clean courtyard”) Scheme 

 

   

Saaf Aangan (“clean courtyard”) Scheme: 

  • Conceptualised over 15 years back by eighty-year-old former Flight Lieutenant from the Indian Air Force (IAF) Madhu Sawant, who has an NGO called I Clean Mumbai
  • In 2002, the then municipal commissioner Karun Srivastava formally adopted Madhu Sawant’s Saaf Aangan Scheme as a workable method to get the city of Mumbai clean, by focusing on the I-centric attitude of the city: simply keep your backyard clean. (Ref.: BMC circular no. MCC / B / 9185 of 2.12.2002)
  • Main features of Madhu Sawant’s original scheme:

-         a scheme to keep the area around one’s office, home or shop clean by leasing it from the BMC on an annual basis.

-         The land could be leased from the BMC at Rs 2 a year and then it would be the lessee's task to plant saplings and ensure that the space stayed free of garbage, unauthorised hawkers or other encroachments

-          The uniqueness of the concept is that anyone, even an individual, can take the initiative.

-          Aangan means the space in front of your residence, shop or workplace (from the boundary if any) to the centre of the road including the footpath (if any).

To avail the scheme, send a written application describing the location of the area and how you plan to maintain it. For instance, keeping flower pots, flower beds, provided they do not obstruct vehicular traffic.  

The trees in the area must be painted in three bands: white, brown, white (in that order).

  • The Saaf Aangan Scheme was successful in those areas with pro-active citizen groups; however being a voluntary scheme, the efforts undertaken, while very successful in local pockets, remained at an incremental level and failed to make a significant impact on the cleanliness of the entire city.
  • The main drawback was that since Saaf Aangan was a “scheme” undertaken by citizens voluntarily, it could not be enforced as there was no deterrent mechanism for those who ignored it. The concept was to instil civic pride in the citizens of Mumbai, and instead of deterrents, motivation and encouragement was used to popularise the scheme by awarding prizes and recognition to those who successfully implemented Saaf Aangan. While this kept the morale of those already involved going, it failed to expand the scheme into a wide enough movement to get the city looking significantly cleaner.
  • In 2005, under Addl. Municipal Commissioner Subrat Ratho, a group of over 100 NGOs, citizens, experts, etc. came together to form a “Cleanliness Group” under the aegis of the NGO Council (that has an MoU with the MCGM) to draft a set of Rules for the Cleanliness of the city, specifically for citizens. (Hazardous waste, construction and demolition waste, bio-medical waste, etc. are covered by different sets of Rules)
  • Under these Rules that were notified on March 1st 2006, it was proposed to take Madhu Sawant’s Saaf Aangan concept, and convert this into an enforceable Rule, so that citizens would themselves not only refrain from littering, but also ensure that no-one litters in their immediate surroundings. These Rules that were framed were extremely citizen-friendly, and gave both powers and responsibilities to those citizens who wanted to actively engage with MCGM in assisting to keep the city clean.
  • These Rules are at: http://www.karmayog.com/cleanliness/mswrules2006.htm

where in rule no. 4, section 4.3, it says that:

4.3.) “Ensuring Saaf Aangan”: Every person shall ensure that any public place in front of or adjacent to any premises owned or occupied by him including the footpath and open drain/gutter and kerb is free of any waste whether liquid, semi-solid or solid including sewage and waste water and every such owner / occupier shall provide an adequate number of litter bins on such premises. 

There is a corresponding fine for those who do not ensure Saaf Aangan:

Rule no. 4.3  

For not maintaining Saaf Aangan: for
a) for owners / occupiers of single premises                               Rs. 100
b) for others                                                                             Rs.1000

  • These Rules were drafted through an extremely transparent, interactive and consultative process over a period of 3 months where the BMC shared its initial Draft Rules with the NGO Council. Thereafter, a Working Group was set up of over 100 NGO’s / organisations/ experts who were specifically interested in Cleanliness / Waste management of the city. A series of meetings were held following this, wherein BMC officials also participated, leading to the preparation of a document called the 'Policy Framework Recommendations for a Clean Mumbai”. The broad policy recommendation outlines in this document were accepted by the BMC and then integrated into the new Rules under formation. A continuous process of dialogue and receiving feedback from all stake-holders was maintained at every stage of the framing of the Rules, leading to the final draft which was submitted to the Group.   Details of all meetings and discussions held for the framing of these Rules is available on the BMC website and on http://www.karmayog.com/cleanliness/bmcswm.htm
  •  In Aug. 2006, the present Addl. Municipal Commissioner, Mr. R.A. Rajeev took the Cleanliness Rules one step further and prepared to convert them into Bye-Laws, with higher fines as a stronger deterrent. Currently, these Rules are at a Draft Stage with MCGM receiving feedback on it. Significantly, Mr.Rajeev has expanded the Saaf Aangan concept even further to include hawkers: “Each Vendor/hawker will be responsible to maintain ‘Saaf Aangan’” – Bye Law No. 7.3.
  • The Saaf Aangan concept has great potential to transform the city into a cleaner, better place; it uses the energies of citizens themselves to keep their own areas clean, and more importantly, to watch over each other to ensure that no-one else dirties that place. This is the break-through idea: citizens themselves become the “nuisance detectors” for the city; from MCGM’s current 300 NDs for Mumbai’s 15 million population, we have 15 million potential NDs looking out for the 15 million population.
  • Some examples of Saaf Aangan in action:

A) Old Scheme of Madhu Sawant 

1. The N-Dutta Marg ALM in Andheri (west) has used the concept to keep their road free of hawkers. This road adjoining the bustling Four Bungalows Road is lined by painted trees and has flower beds next to the boundary walls of all the 35 residential complexes on it. 

“This road had many hawkers before we adopted it under the Saaf Aangan scheme,” said Alexandrina Aiyar of the N-Dutta Marg ALM. “We tried telling them to vacate, but they didn’t budge. We then approached the BMC’s K-west ward office which introduced us to the ALM concept and the Saaf Aangan scheme and the result is for everyone to see.” 

2. http://www.aipma.net/press/diamond.htm 

Press Release On The Occasion Of Diamond Jubilee Celebration History

            Project "SAAF AANGAN"
 
Of late, plastics, particularly carry bags have earned bad name, especially after last year's deluge in Mumbai on 26/7. No one is blaming people's littering habit or BMC's bad management but in the process plastics - particularly carry bags have become the casualty. Many states like Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Delhi and some eastern states have banned these carry bags altogether or below a particular thickness (50 microns) and size. NGO's have played a major role in this bad name game. Our efforts are on to overcome these through public / NGO / Civic Awareness. However, this is going to take some time.
 

In the meanwhile, just as charity begins at Home, we have decided to take a lead by keeping our own environment clean under the project "SAAF AANGAN" - which will involve keeping the road in front of AIPMA House at Andheri free of litter, garbage. This is being done with the help of Shri Madhu Sawant - a social worker along with the staff of BMC's ward office. Once it is successfully implemented, it would later be extended to other areas. 

B) New Saaf Aangan under Bye-Laws

New Saaf Aangan concept is still in “familiarisation phase” – that was a 3 month period from March 1st 2006 to May 30th 2006. MCGM has been implementing the Rules as pilot projects in various phases in different wards. 

            Contact Seema Redkar, Officer on Special Duty for details of implementation.    

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Articles for Reference:

1.

Indian Express article – with MC and Madhu Sawant – need URL – not scanned article here

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2.

http://www.aipma.net/press/diamond.htm 

Press Release On The Occasion Of Diamond Jubilee Celebration History 

Project "SAAF AANGAN"
 
Of late, plastics, particularly carry bags have earned bad name, especially after last year's deluge in Mumbai on 26/7. No one is blaming people's littering habit or BMC's bad management but in the process plastics - particularly carry bags have become the casualty. Many states like Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Delhi and some eastern states have banned these carry bags altogether or below a particular thickness (50 microns) and size. NGO's have played a major role in this bad name game. Our efforts are on to overcome these through public / NGO / Civic Awareness. However, this is going to take some time.
 

In the meanwhile, just as charity begins at Home, we have decided to take a lead by keeping our own environment clean under the project "SAAF AANGAN" - which will involve keeping the road in front of AIPMA House at Andheri free of litter, garbage. This is being done with the help of Shri Madhu Sawant - a social worker along with the staff of BMC's ward office. Once it is successfully implemented, it would later be extended to other areas.
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3.

Saaf Aangan is mentioned 7 times in draft MCGM Bye-Laws

http://www.mcgm.gov.in/contents/news95ver2eng.pdf#search=%22saaf%20aangan%22

pg 2, 6 , 13, 15

-         defn.: aangan” means the public place in front or adjacent to any premises extending to the kerb side and including the drain, foothpath and kerb;

-         (4) Prohibition of littering, and other nuisances and ensuring “Saaf Aangan” (6 categories)

-         7.3 Vendor/Hawkers All vendors/hawkers shall keep their bio-degradable and other waste unmixed in containers / bins at the site of vending for the collection of any waste generated by that vending activity. It will be the responsibility of the generator/vendor to deliver this waste duly segregated to the ghanta-gadi of MCGM or to the nearest designated community waste storage bin. Failure to do so will attract fines as per the Schedule of Fines Each Vendor/hawker will be responsible to maintain ‘Saaf Aangan’

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4.

Times – Mulund Plus

http://www.mulundpowaiplus.com/fullStory.asp?articleID=MUP7ART9172006

 

The most significant feature in the bylaws is that there is an increased amount of fine for every offence. While segregation of garbage into dry and wet waste will have to be implemented by every user, ensuring `saaf aangan’ will top the list. This implies that any public place near a premise owned or occupied by the user including the footpath or open drain, must be free of solid or liquid waste. The bylaws have specified that house wates should be segregated from hazardous bio-medical wastes and disposed off seperately as per the BMC rules. (see box)

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5.

Lone ranger on a clean-city mission
[ 31 Dec, 2005 0052hrs IST TIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

http://mobile.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-1353475,curpg-1.cms

 

MUMBAI: When the series of 'Clean Mumbai Green Mumbai' campaigns launched by the BMC turned out to be damp squibs, he chalked out a plan tailor-made for the I-centric city: simply keep your backyard clean. For cynics, the solution sounded too myopic but not for septuagenarian Madhu Sawant.

"Mumbaikars do not have the time or money to spare for civic problems. I suggested that each person adopt a portion of land around his housing society, shop or office and keep it clean.

The land could be leased from the BMC at Rs 2 a year and then it would be the lessee's task to plant saplings and ensure that the space stayed free of garbage, unauthorised hawkers or other encroachments," says the former lieutenant.

When he first shot off this idea fourteen years ago, there were not many takers. Some of the ward offices even demanded upto Rs 25,000 as bank guarantee for volunteering to do a job that was the BMC's prime responsibility.

But his Saaf Aangan concept got its first seal of official recognition in 2002, when then municipal commissioner Karun Shrivastava shot off a circular asking ward officers to clear all applications for the scheme within seven days.

Soon his idea was realised by 150,000 children in municipal schools, by cops in their quarters and in and around various government offices and housing societies.

Where sheer preaching failed to work, he used the force of motivation; he distributed certificates for cleanest police stations, civic offices and awarding toiletries to conservancy workers whose area was the cleanest.

"At one such prize distribution function, this particular civic worker came up to me and said 'In my 32 years of service, this is the first time ever that my work has got some acknowledgement'," says Sawant.

His organisation, aptly called I Clean Mumbai, doesn't even boast of a treasurer; it means all the money has to be pumped in by Sawant alone.

On December 29, as Sawant celebrated his 78th birthday, he still had a final dream to fulfil regardless of his failing health: that of spreading his campaign among children in 1100 aided and unaided schools.

"I have got the permission from the education secretary for this. For the time being, Saaf Aangan is already being practised in 550 of these schools in the western zone," he says.

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6.

You’ll now have the footpath to yourself Arush Chopra

Monday, April 24, 2006  21:27 IST

http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?NewsID=1025893 

Eighty-year-old former Flight Lieutenant from the Indian Air Force (IAF) Madhu Sawant’s years of correspondence with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for implementation of a citizen-friendly scheme to stop encroachments and maintain cleanliness finally bore fruit when Srivastava praised his idea and directed all the assistant municipal commissioners to clear applications under Sawant’s scheme within seven days. 

Sawant conceptualised a scheme to keep the area around one’s office, home or shop clean by leasing it from the BMC on an annual basis. 

“I simply observed what prevented me from enjoying a walk on a pavement meant for me. Citizens cry hoarse over the hawkers on pavements returning to the spot barely a few hours after the demolition and squarely blame the BMC. I thought; why not work on an idea that lets citizens take matters in their own hands. It’s their pavement after all,” said Sawant. 

“It does not take much. All you need is to make an application to your local ward office and shell out Rs3 to get a right to prevent encroachment and develop the space around your premises the way you want,” said Sawant whose Saaf Aangan scheme has been implemented in many suburban housing societies and all the 84 police stations in the city. 

“They (BMC) just cannot help us every day. Every one must make a minimum possible effort to deserve a clean environment. The hawkers unite and even go the Supreme Court. What do we, the taxpayers, do to assert our right to a clean environment? This is the least one can do,” said Sawant. 

The uniqueness of the concept in comparison to the Advanced Locality Management (ALM) and other citizen-oriented approaches is that anyone, even an individual, can take the initiative. 

“Even a licensed paanwala can apply to the municipal ward office to get the area around his stall on lease,” added Sawant. 

What’s Saaf Aangan? 

Aangan means the space in front of your residence, shop or workplace (from the boundary if any) to the centre of the road including the footpath (if any). 

To avail the scheme, send a written application describing the location of the area and how you plan to maintain it. For instance, keeping flower pots, flower beds, provided they do not obstruct vehicular traffic. 

The trees in the area must be painted in three bands: white, brown, white (in that order). 

Case in point 

The N-Dutta Marg ALM in Andheri (west) has used the concept to keep their road free of hawkers. This road adjoining the bustling Four Bungalows Road is lined by painted trees and has flower beds next to the boundary walls of all the 35 residential complexes on it. 

“This road had many hawkers before we adopted it under the Saaf Aangan scheme,” said Alexandrina Aiyar of the N-Dutta Marg ALM. “We tried telling them to vacate, but they didn’t budge. We then approached the BMC’s K-west ward office which introduced us to the ALM concept and the Saaf Aangan scheme and the result is for everyone to see.”

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It is one of the beautiful compensations of this life that no one can sincerely try to help another without helping himself. --Charles Dudley Warner