Swachh Bharat Mission: Authorities ‘manipulate’ SSG-18 mobile app feedback to improve rankings

MUDASIR YAQOOB
Srinagar, Publish Date: Aug 20 2018 1:13AM | Updated Date: Aug 20 2018 2:28AM
Swachh Bharat Mission: Authorities ‘manipulate’ SSG-18 mobile app feedback to improve rankingsRepresentational Pic

In a shocking revelation that questions the efficiency of implementation of centrally sponsored schemes like ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’ (SBM- Gramin), the authorities of directorate of rural sanitation Jammu & Kashmir are allegedly manipulating the feedback to improve the ranking on Swachh Survekshan Grameen-2018 (SG-18) Android app. 

The ranking is based on a comprehensive set of parameters including district-level surveys of public places like schools, colleges, Anganwadis, PHCs, Haat bazaars, Panchayat and citizen’s perception of Swachhata and their recommendations for improvement of the program, and data from the SBM-G IMIS. 

The app aims to engage citizens and solicit their feedback for improving the program.  On the basis of data collected through this app, the central government releases funds under the scheme. 

According to sources, the directorate of rural sanitation has issued an unwritten “internal directive” to its employees asking them to download and install the app and give the positive feedback. They have been asked to repeat this practice as many times as they can to improve the ranking. 

“Every employee from GRS (Gram Rozgar Sevak) to VLW (village level worker) to BDO (block development officer) and other staff members have been asked to give feedback on the app as many times as possible,” sources said. 

Sources said the app was devised to get the feedback from the people regarding cleanliness and impact of SBM-G.  “However, this has been illegally reduced to a sort of internal official exercise which is performed to artificially increase the ranking.”

 “The authorities are well aware that if the survey team visits any village in any area of state, they will get negative response from the people. To better their position, they have devised this mechanism whereby the officials do the job that is actually to be done by the people,” sources added. 

Reliable sources said the department responsible for the implementation of this centrally sponsored scheme has failed to cover thousands of deserving families on ground under the mission. 

"No work was done on the ground in many areas of the state, nor the people have been benefited under the mission," sources said.

Pertinently, under SBM, the school education department was entrusted to construct toilet blocks in the educational institutions which are without the facility, in collaboration with union ministry of drinking water and sanitation. Earlier the education department claimed to have achieved 100 percent target for construction of toilet blocks in the schools, but the claims has remained confined to papers only. “On the ground the position is totally contrary,” sources said.

Sources said that despite huge sums made available by the centre under SBM, more than 2100 schools across Jammu and Kashmir have no toilet facilities for their students.  These include 792 girls’ schools and 1343 for boys. “Also more than 3200 government schools from primary to higher secondary level are without proper drinking water facilities,” they said.

When contacted, director rural sanitation Jammu & Kashmir, Indu Kanwal Chib refuted the allegations. "Whosoever has passed this information is not correct," she told Greater Kashmir.

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