Jammu: Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta on Wednesday honoured the Sarpanchs from 15 nominated panchayats of JK for their outstanding contributions to the ‘Swachh Survekshan Grameen 2023’ initiative.
Swachh Survekshan Grameen is an annual exercise to assess the status of villages in rural areas on various parameters under Swachh Bharat Grameen. These panchayats were selected out of 209 panchayats nominated by districts through rigorous assessment exercise as per the parameters defined by the Government of India.
While felicitating these PRI members, Dr Mehta stressed on the significance of maintaining the sustainability of assets created under the Open Defecation Free Plus (ODF+) Model scheme. This crucial aspect ensures that the progress made in sanitation and hygiene is maintained in the long term by efficient utilisation of these assets.
Additionally, the Chief Secretary highlighted the importance of responsible waste management, focusing on managing landfill sites efficiently. Rather than creating new landfill sites, a cluster approach will be implemented to reduce the number of sites.
He emphasised that addressing odour issues at these sites must be our priority to ensure the well-being of villagers living nearby. He also exhorted stakeholders to beautify these sites.
Chief Secretary drew attention to the best practices followed in many villages, where cleanliness and beauty are synonymous with rural areas. He encouraged the adoption of similar practices in Jammu and Kashmir, envisioning cleaner and more beautiful villages. He made out that these villages should act as models for others for achieving what these have accomplished with same assistance provided to each of the Panchayat.
Furthermore, the Chief Secretary urged for exploring innovative ways to recover plastics from waste. These recovered plastics can be repurposed for various uses, including fuel production, road construction, and making panels etc. This approach not only contributes to waste reduction but also opens up opportunities for recycling also.
While concluding, the Chief Secretary commended the Directorate of Rural Sanitation for their commendable efforts in bringing about this positive change in a relatively short period of time. He noted that there is a noticeable behavioural change in the public’s attitude toward cleanliness and hygiene from last year, reflecting the success of initiatives like Swachh Survekshan Grameen 2023.
On the occasion the nominated Sarpanchs also shared their inspiring stories of how they turned their respective panchayats into models of cleanliness and hygiene. Their dedication and determination were evident as they recounted the obstacles, they overcame in achieving this prestigious recognition.
The event showcased the remarkable journey of these Sarpanchs in transforming their panchayats into Model Panchayats, shedding light on the challenges they faced and emphasising the importance of sustainability and perseverance in making efforts.
The felicitation ceremony served as a testament to the dedication of these Sarpanchs and the commitment of the Jammu and Kashmir administration for creating cleaner and more sustainable rural areas for its residents.
The meeting was organised by Directorate of Rural Sanitation, Department of Rural Development Department and all the Sarpanchs from the nominated panchayats were present with their respective DCs.