Sanitation Is All About Bringing Change In Our Attitude: CS AK Mehta

  • Says no obstacle big enough to stop us from making our villages ODF+ within the timeframe

JAMMU, Feb 3: Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta today remarked that the Sanitation involves simple steps to be achieved with determination. He maintained that it only takes a good resolve to make our surroundings clean.
Dr Mehta made these remarks during his address on the eve of One day Divisional Level Capacity Building Program for officers of the Rural Development Department (RDD) on Management of All Components of Swachh Bharat Mission (G) for initiation of its 2nd phase.
Commissioner Secretary, RDD; Divisional Commissioner, Jammu; DCs from Jammu Division; Director, Rural Sanitation were present on the occasion.
Dr Mehta observed that we all have to understand its relevance and see our role vis-a-vis its accomplishment. He made out that if we are unable to do our part we would fail to convince others to do it as well. He maintained that first all of us need to set it as a goal for ourselves and believe that it can be done in time.
He exhorted upon the officers that there is no tomorrow to defer this significant task to. He impressed upon them that either we have to do it now or we should vacate our positions voluntarily to let others to do it. He said that there is no question of not being able to complete the targets of this mission in the stipulated time frame.
The Chief Secretary gave out that the process of cleanliness is one to be done in a mission mode. He stressed on doing the team work by understanding what, how and why it needs to be done. He stated that Sanitation leads to prosperity. He revealed that the bad sanitation costs us nearly 6% of our GDP. He further said that it takes toll on our prosperity as it even spoils our means of livelihood instead makes us to spend our earnings on treatment of communicable diseases.
In her address the Commissioner Secretary, RDD, Mandeep Kaur revealed that the progress from last few months has been phenomenal in the UT. She made out that around 4400 of our villages are in the aspiring category of becoming ODF+ villages. She set out that the model is lying with us and the process is underway to make whole of the UT as ODF+ within a year.
While highlighted the importance of capacity building she said that it helps us in implementation of our ambitious targets in a smooth manner. She remarked that the trainings are going to be imparted in every Panchayat in order to learn to take the mission to its conclusion. She also advised the trainees to make best out of it and also give their feedback about any improvements to be made for future.
The Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Ramesh Kumar reminded the participants about the challenges faced in the initiation of this mission due to the diversity of geography in the UT. He made out that the administration has been successful in surmounting these challenges and implementing the mission here. He stressed on laying focus on making our tourist places more hygienic so that it directly adds to our economy as well.
In his Welcome address, the Director Rural Sanitation, Charandeep Singh made out that nation has given top priority to sanitation of villages that actually gave birth to the concept of Swachh Grameen. He revealed that more than 140 villages have already been declared ODF+ in the UT. He said that this capacity building would enhance our ability to perform the task in an efficient manner. He termed the task more relevant towards bringing the behavioural change than creating the physical infrastructure.
He revealed that the UT has come a long way in meeting certain requirements. He said that we have made available the DPRs to create the Soak pits, Composit pits, Leach pits, Twin pits besides the plans for solid, liquid and plastic waste management in our villages.
He acknowledged the role of Chief Secretary in giving this mission so much priority and revealed that sufficient funds have been made available to us and it is now our turn to live up to his expectations to deliver the results that are amenable to the support we received from him.
During the ceremony it was revealed that after this Divisional level workshop the trainings are to be held at district level to train master trainers. These Master Trainers would thereby impart trainings at panchayat level. It was given out that at least two trainers would be trained in each block. A pool of around 600-650 field trainers would be created to give trainings in all the 4280 GPs in 285 blocks across the 20 districts of the UT, as was learnt during this day long capacity building workshop.
Pertinent to mention here that few of the objectives of this programme is to undertake capacity building activities in Gram Panchayats to ensure open defecation free behaviours among all, to ensure solid and liquid waste management facilities are accessible, to encourage cost effective and appropriate technologies for ecologically safe and sustainable sanitation.
These also include strengthening grass root democracy of Jammu and Kashmir through Capacity building & training and exposure visits and developing governance capabilities of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRls) to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs).