Bad sanitation costs us nearly 6% of GDP: CS

Says sanitation is all about bringing change in attitude
Bad sanitation costs us nearly 6% of GDP: CS
Photo: Jammu and Kashmir Information Department

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  surroundings clean.

Dr Mehta made these remarks during his address on the eve of one-day Divisional Level Capacity Building programme 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 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 and 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.

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