CM seeks more funds for Swachhta Abhiyan
Chief Minister Harish Rawat has demanded that the grant under the viability gap funding by the Central government for solid waste management in hill areas under the Swachhta Abhiyan be raised to 60 per cent from existing 20 per cent. He also demanded that for individual household toilets in urban areas the per unit Central grant share be increased from Rs 4,000 to Rs 12,000 in uniformity with rural areas, and for community toilets from Rs 65,000 to Rs 125,000 because labour charges in hill areas are more than urban areas.
He stated this while addressing the Sub-Group of Chief Ministers on the Swachch Bharat Abhiyan in New Delhi today. The Chief Minister said rag-pickers could be rehabilitated by involving them under the institutional mechanism of solid waste management. “They can be registered with the help of some voluntary organization and can be provided benefits of various government welfare programmes so that they get alternative livelihood source and lead a respectable life,” he said.
Harish Rawat said sanitation trade could be introduced in all ITIs to provide employment opportunities to youths under the Swachhta Abhiyan. He added Uttarakhand has many important religious places and is visited by a large number of pilgrims and tourists. Therefore, keeping in mind the magnitude of this floating population, amenities on the yatra routes starting from Haridwar and Rishikesh and other important religious places need to be constructed under the Swachch Bharat Abhiyan. Suitable mobile toilets for children need to be provided in all anganwari centres.
The Chief Minister said total sanitation could not be achieved by the efforts of a single department and hence an arrangement for better coordination at the level of the Cabinet Secretary was necessary. The intervention of each department along with sanitation budgeting was needed. To give impetus to the programme, a Mission Director at the Central and state levels be nominated separately.
Rawat said the state government was committed to declaring Chamoli and Bageshwar districts as open defecation free by 2016-17. For ensuring the provisions of the Draft Solid Waste Management Rule-2015, responsibility should be fixed or a levy on non-bio degradable waste generators be charged under extended producer responsibility.