Urban Development Ministry holds one day workshop in Mumbai to discuss new urban sector initiatives.
Swachch Bharat Mission gathers momentum as states set competitive targets.
India’s urban local bodies are at varied stages of preparation to achieve Swachch Bharat Mission targets envisaged by the Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi. The Union Ministry for Urban Development, the nodal ministry for the campaign, today held a day long workshop in Mumbai to discuss issues and challenges relating to implementing the Swachch Bharat Abhiyan and other new urban initiatives. The workshop was attended by Principal Secretaries and Secretaries of Urban Development and 115 Muncipal Commissioners from Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
Gujarat has set an ambitious target of making the state open defecation free by October 2, 2015, and taken up the toilet construction programme with a frenzy. The state is adding Rs 8,000 from its side to the central subsidy of Rs 4,000, making toilet construction affordable for even the poorer families. For construction of community toilets it is earmarking Rs 18,000. The Gujarat Chief Minister has also asked the industrialists to construct toilets in rural areas as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative.
The coastal state of Goa has advaned the target from 2019 to December 19, 2015. Maharashtra, given its large size has set a three year target, while Madhya Pradesh, though boasts of construction of over 3 lakh toilets during 2014-15, still has some catching up to do.
Speaking at the valedictoey aession Union Minister of State for Urban Development Babul Supriyo said Swachch Bharat was an all encompassing concept covering clean surroundings, clean environment, clean governance etc. He stressed on making India’s cities more livable, which its citizens could call a ‘home’.
Earlier in the day, Union Minister for Urban Development Venkaiah Naidu unveiled the Swachch Bharat guidelines and also released the first instalment of Rs 230 crore to the Western states. Maharashtra was given Rs 135 crores.
The day long workshop, besides the Swachch Bharat Mission, discussed and exchanged ideas on National Urban Livelihood Mission, affordable housing, solid waste management among others. Best practices implemented in various states were shared and debated. The issue of converting urban waste into energy was a focus of discussion, especially in view of lack of space available in space starved larger cities for landfills. The Pune model of conversion of municipal waste into bio-fuel using low cost technology earned appreciation, as was Goa’s effort in achieving over 90% segregation of waste and conversion of waste plastic into hydro-carbon fuel.
The workshop also discussed the broad outlines of the soon to be launched National Urban Rejuvenation Mission, replacing the JNNURM. The bottlenecks faced in implementing the earlier mission and suggestions for improvement were taken in the form of feedback.
Mumbai workshop was the third in the series being organized by the Ministry of Urban Development to take states and local bodies on board for implementing urban sector initiatives effectively. Earlier workshops were held in New Delhi for the Northern states and Hyderabad for the southern states. The fourth and the last workshop for the East and North Eastern states will be held in Kolkata later this month.
PIB Mum | MD