Upward trend towards Nirmal Meghalaya

By Our Reporter

 Shillong: A roadmap drawn by the state in achieving Nirmal Meghalaya has shown an upward trend in the graph as far as the sanitation status or toilet average is concern with over 73 percent achievement, which is more than the national average, experts claimed.

Experts of the Water and Sanitation Programme-South Asia (WSP-SA) has claimed that the state can become Nirmal Meghalaya in a period of two years adding that Meghalaya is one of the leading states as far as implementation of Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) now known as Nirmal Bharat Abiyan (NBA) in rural areas of the state is concerned.

This was highlighted at a two-day state level workshop on “Achieving Nirmal Meghalaya” which began here on Thursday and was attended by deputy commissioners from various different districts as well as officials of the public health engineering (PHE) department.

According to the presentation of WSP-SA, Meghalaya ranked third after Maharashtra and Gujarat with regards to receiving of Nirmal Gram Puraskar (NGP) awards in 2011 and West Garo Hills district stood number one among the districts in the country bagging 216 NGP awards in 2011.

However, coming to reality, it may be mentioned that Meghalaya is still facing the problem of open defecation with only 365 out of over 6000 villages, which had received NGP as on 2011. Only 11 villages had received NGP award in 2008. It was also mentioned that the total open defecation in Meghalaya was 46.9 per cent with 38.5 percent recorded for open pits while 7.4 per cent of septic tank outlet flows.

Deputy Commissioner of West Garo Hills, Praveen Bakshi while stating the problems behind the inability to perform well as far as toilet coverage in schools are concerned said that “The infighting between school management committees had forced the work to be halted”.

He also said that the Supreme Court’s order of cent percent toilet coverage in school by 2011 was not fulfilled due to lack of funds.

Turning to solid and waste management, experts says that the disposal of small waste by burning and throwing accounted for 68 per cent and 50 per cent respectively.

Stressing on the financial aspect, principal secretary (PHE), P W Ingty informed that the incentive amount for BPL household or identified APLs has been revised at Rs 10,000 for construction of one unit of individual household latrines (IHHL) after the convergence of TSC with MNREGS.

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