SBM yet to achieve objectives of proper sanitation in J&K: Tarigami

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CPI (M) leader and MLA Kulgam Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami today said the “Swachh Bharat Mission” (SBM), the aim of which is to end open defecation by Mahatama Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary in 2019, is yet achieve objectives of proper sanitation in Jammu and Kashmir due to the poor and faulty implementation by the concerned authorities.

J&K has poorly performed under SBM, which had two branches, Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin and the Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban. Unfortunately, the criterion laid down by the organizers of the scheme in J&K has made poor performance. The state has done little to mitigate health threats from improper sanitary facilities in households, hospitals and educational institutes. Since the scheme was launched on October 2, 2014, the state government has so far failed in meeting the objectives of the proper sanitation.

The SBM, which comprises five phases, including construction of individual and community latrines, solid waste management, information education capacity building and awareness generation, has failed to achieve the results due to poor implementation policies of the government. In some cases, where construction of toilets have been approved, the beneficiaries have not been paid the money yet. They are being made to make rounds of offices like beggars by the concerned authorities. The most deserving people have been still not covered under the SBM.

The need of introducing the Swachh Bharat Gramin in our villages is to bring awareness to the people on two counts, one that the villages have to be kept clean and second villages have to be made free from open defection. Nearly four years have gone by when the mission was launched and during this time the achievements under the scheme have been dismal. The hype and photo sessions during the campaigns have failed to make an impact on ground.

Heaps of garbage, stagnant water and blocked drains in most parts of capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar tell a tale of neglect and indifferent attitude of the authorities. In most of the villages, the foul-smelling garbage heaps haunt residents even as the banners encouraging people to participate wholeheartedly in the campaign still flutter on the walls.

Last year, J&K’s performance was so dismal that it was ahead only of Bihar among all the States and Union Territories in the country.

The Government should wake up and try to find the root cause of poor implementation of centrally sponsored schemes.

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