Secy RDD reviews progress of SBM-G infrastructure in Pulwama

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, May 22: Secretary, Rural Development Department (RDD) and Panchayati Raj, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary today visited Pulwama to assess the progress of door-to-door waste collection, Plastic Waste Management Units (PWMUs), and other assets established under the Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin (SBM-G) in the district.
He was accompanied by Deputy Commissioner, Pulwama, Dr. Basharat Qayoom, Director General, Rural Sanitation, J&K, Anoo Malhotra and other field officers of the district.
Dr Shahid emphasized the importance of efficient waste management systems in rural areas and underscored the significance of proper waste disposal mechanisms in preserving environmental health and hygiene.
He discussed the status and challenges of plastic waste management in the region, mentioning that around 116 PWMUs are physically complete and 23 are under construction in J&K.
Dr Shahid asked officials not to start new units until the current ones are fully operational, emphasizing quality over quantity.
He pointed out the gaps in functionality and the need for proper planning and machinery to ensure the units serve their purpose effectively.
Secretary RDD underscored the significance of community involvement in sanitation initiatives, particularly through the establishment of village level sanitation committees. He encouraged officials to focus on capacity building at the grassroots level, empowering communities to take ownership of sanitation efforts.
DG, Rural Sanitation, J&K, Anoo Malhotra underscored the necessity for effective implementation of sanitation and waste management programs across district.
She stressed the importance of completing the verification process within the specified timeframe and urged officials to ensure accurate documentation before submission.
Furthermore, Malhotra discussed the expansion of waste management initiatives to include construction and demolition waste, e-waste, and sanitary waste.
Officials were urged to collaborate with engineers to develop effective waste disposal strategies and explore opportunities for increasing the capacity of existing facilities.
DG Sanitation also addressed the Open Defecation Free (ODF) Plus model, calling for verification through self-help groups to ensure accurate ground reports.
Earlier, Secretary, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary inspected the Plastic Waste Management Unit at Kakapora Pulwama to assess the functionality of assets created under SBM-G.
Dr. Shahid sought insights from the committee members regarding the effectiveness of existing sanitation initiatives, community involvement, and any specific needs or concerns they might have.