Srinagar: Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta on Saturday reiterated his direction to all the Deputy Commissioners to achieve ‘ODF(Open Defecation Free) Plus Model’ status for all their villages by the 15th of August this year.
Dr Mehta made these remarks while inaugurating the Divisional Level Capacity Building Programme on Management of all Components of SBM(G)- Phase-II for officers of the Rural Development Department (RDD) attended by the Deputy Commissioners of Kashmir Division.
The inaugural ceremony was also attended by Commissioner Secretary, RDD; Secretary in RDD; Director, Rural Sanitation and many other concerned officers.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Secretary stressed upon all participants to put in dedicated efforts to ensure that the open defecation free behaviour is sustained in all the Gram Panchayats, besides safe solid and liquid waste management facilities in these villages.
Dr Mehta also called for proper disposal of legacy waste and improving visual cleanliness in the rural areas. He also maintained that happiness of common masses is connected with cleanliness so every one has to contribute in terms of sanitation and cleanliness of their surroundings.
Dr Mehta urged the officers to work in coordination with each other evolving a simple methodology without complicating the action plan to achieve the target. He observed that the task of cleanliness is basic and understood by all. He emphasised on conducting the cleanliness activities in a dedicated manner with clear objective to remove all the dirt around us. He remarked that this task is easy if everyone considers it as basic necessity; just as food, shelter, water, electricity and clothes.
Emphasising on active involvement of people and PRI members in such activities the Chief Secretary asked officers to motivate and convince the rural population by sensitizing them about the significance of the cleanliness. He emphasized that it is vital for sustenance of good health and prosperity of the people. He stated that no human likes to reside in a dirty place. He directed all to make it a mission and make a resolve that we have to make our rural areas clean and hygienic by this year’s Independence Day without any fail.
The Commissioner Secretary, RDD, Mandeep Kaur in her address revealed that the progress of UT from last few years is although good but much has to be achieved yet. 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 the given timeframe. She made out that much of the work like door to door collection of waste and clearing of legacy waste has been started in all of our villages.
While highlighted the importance of capacity building she said that it helps us in implementation of our policies in a smooth manner. She remarked that the trainings are going to be imparted in every panchayat in order to take the mission to its conclusion.
In his Welcome address, the Director Rural Sanitation, Charandeep Singh made out that the mission is the outcome of the priority nation gives to sanitation of villages. 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 emphasized bringing about behavioural change rather than just creating the physical infrastructure.
He said that we have been successful in preparation of DPRs to create the Soak pits, Composit pits, Leach pits, Twin pits besides the plans for solid, liquid and plastic waste management. He acknowledged that today we have district plans available for each component of cleanliness and the necessary infrastructure and manpower is in place everywhere to make our villages clean.
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.
The objectives of this programme was to undertake capacity building activities in Gram Panchayats to ensure open defecation free behaviours among all, to ensure proper solid and liquid waste management and to encourage cost effective and appropriate technologies for ecologically safe and sustainable sanitation.
These also include strengthening of grass root democracy of Jammu and Kashmir through Capacity building & training and Exposure visits, besides developing governance capabilities of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRls) to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs).
Pertinent to mention here that all the Deputy Commissioners and concerned officers of the RDD present in the training program like ACDs and BDOs committed to put in their best efforts for achieving ‘ODF Plus Model’ villages by the deadline of 15th of August this year as directed by the Chief Secretary.