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Delhi civic body acts as Danish envoy flags trash-filled road on social media

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Senjo M R
May 09, 2024 00:47 IST
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Danish ambassador to India Freddy Svane on Wednesday took to social media to highlight a trash-ridden "service lane" near the Embassy of Denmark in New Delhi and appealed to authorities to take necessary action.

IMAGE: A view of the Danish embassy in New Delhi. Photograph: ANI Photo

The envoy posted a video on X in the afternoon with a caption: "Lovely and green New Delhi. Many words but no action. Saddened by this @DenmarkinIndia @CMODelhi @LtGovDelhi".


In the video, Svane, standing in the middle of the lane, points to the trash and construction debris strewn along both sides of it.

"Welcome to great, green and trashy New Delhi," he said in the video.

The envoy also gestured towards the Danish and Greek embassy buildings on either side of the lane.

"Here we have the Danish embassy and we have the Greek embassy over there. This should be a service lane, but you see it's full of trash, and people are just dumping whatever they like... So, I hope somebody will listen to this and take action. No more nice words, just action, my friends," he added.

A senior official of the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) when asked about the video, said, "It was cleaned after the matter came to light. We will also ensure that such a civic situation does not arise again."

Danish Embassy is located in Chanakyapuri, home to the country's main diplomatic enclave in the national capital. The civic area in the enclave falls under the NDMC.

Chanakyapuri overall is one of the cleanest areas in New Delhi.

As the video gained traction on X, the local body later put out an official statement and said, "The NDMC welcomes feedback from any stakeholder for improving its services. In this regard, the social media message from H. E. Freddy Svane, Ambassador, Royal Danish Embassy was promptly acted upon, which was later acknowledged by the ambassador himself to the media".

"Immediate steps have been taken on the plot of land (which is not a service lane) by lifting the dumped material," it said.

The Danish ambassador, later interacting separately with some mediapersons, thanked the NDMC and the civic workers who were part of the team that cleaned up the plot.

In an interaction with PTI, he said "We have mentioned it many times that this could not be the way... so we really had to see if we could do something" and therefore "I decided really to put out this video".

He, however, made it amply clear that it had "no political direction" and that the video highlighted the human aspect, while asserting that "we should all strive for cleanliness".

This is something that should be done whether one is in India or outside or in Denmark, the Danish envoy said. "We have the same challenges", he added.

Asked since when this civic situation has been there in the lane, he said the embassy building was inaugurated back in 2019 and a "lane was laid out" for movement of fire tenders and for any emergency situation.

Over the years, it became a place where masonry and other trash were dumped, he said, adding he had raised the issue a "number of times informally with various authorities" but today, he thought of doing something that could bring a change.

"If nothing had happened today, we would have done it ourselves tomorrow...," the envoy asserted.

The Danish ambassador said he praised the action taken by the NDMC, and he said he "praised them (civic staff) and hugged them".

"This is how India works, action, that is something I would like to praise," he said.

Svane said he has a passion for climate and environment, and "sometimes, you have to walk a little bit extra mile to bring in the attention, which I did today".

"Action is needed, and action happened," he added.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Senjo M R© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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