Cash sops announced to spur cleanliness

DIPR IMPHAL, 27th Dec: 
Expressing optimism about Manipur emerging as top state in sanitation, MAHUD minister Thounaojam Shyamkumar Wednesday announced that his department will give an assistance of Rs 1 lakh each to all the towns under municipal councils and Nagar Panchayats to help in keeping their respective towns clean for the upcoming competition/survey. He also announced Rs 1.5 lakh to those towns that are able to get ‘open defecation free’ status.

He was speaking as chief guest of a one-day media sensitisation workshop on ‘Swachh Survekshan 2018’ held at City Convention Center, Palace Compound here. Directorate of Information & Public Relations (DIPR) and Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MAHUD) jointly organised the programme. Swachh Survekshan (cleanliness inspection) is a survey conducted to rank cities on various sanitation and cleanliness parameters.

Shyamkumar appealed to media persons to spread awareness about the survey so that the state can attain the top ranking.

Stating that media has a major role in spreading awareness among the masses, the minister said that he is optimistic that the state will be able to get the top ranking this time.

In his presidential speech, IPR director Meghachandra Kongbam said that his department is ready to help all the departments including the MAHUD in creating mass awareness regarding various schemes/programmes.

Stating that cleanliness is a part of the age old tradition of the state, he was hopeful that with the help of media and public, the state will get a good ranking in the ‘Swachh Survekshan 2018’.

MAHUD director N Gitkumar informed that 27 towns of the state including Imphal are competing in the ‘Swachh Survekshan 2018’. MAHUD department focuses on urban areas targeting open defecation free status and scientific elimination of municipal solid waste. Stating that all Municipal areas are organising a series of awareness programme for the ‘Swachh Survekshan 2018’, he stressed the need for creating mass awareness by the authorities concerned and media persons among the public.

Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), formerly Ministry of Urban Development, had conducted Swachh Survekshan 2016 among 73 top cities of India followed by Swachh Survekshan 2017 covering 434 cities. MoHUA now proposes to conduct its third survey ‘Swachh Survekshan 2018’ to rank all 4,041 statutory towns of India (competition among 500 AMRUT cities) under Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM-U). The survey will be conducted anytime by a third party within January 4, 2018 to March 31, 2018.

Swachh Survekshan is a part of the Swachh Bharat Mission started on October 2, 2014. India has pledged to become open defecation free and clean by October 2, 2019, as a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary.

A total of 27 towns of Manipur will participate in the third survey ‘Swachh Survekshan 2018’ against 4,041 statutory towns of India. Manipur was ranked 15th position among other cities of India and topped among the North East during the first survey held in 2016. The ranking slipped to 122th position in comparison to other cities of India and the state slipped to 3rd position among North East during the 2017 survey, he added.

There is an addition related to the survey this time, in which citizens can use mobile application Swachhata App to instantly lodge a complaint by uploading a picture of littered areas which can be viewed immediately by the officials. After cleaning the specific location, the status report will be available on the Swachhata App. The app can be downloaded from Google Play Store till December 31, 2017. The usage of this app will also help the state in securing marks in the survey.

MAHUD joint director Uttam Singh appreciated minister Shyamkumar for announcing monetary assistance for Municipal Councils and Nagar Panchayats and hoped that it will encourage public participation. He also appreciated the municipalities for keeping areas even in Nagar Panchayat areas from Imphal-Keibul areas clean during the recently concluded Manipur Sangai Festival 2017.

Later, Shyamkumar handed over cheques to the winners of the cleanliness competition held under the ‘Mission Imphal-Keibul’ organised by MAHUD department from November 19 to December 2 during the Manipur Sangai Festival 2017. The winner of the competition Kumbi Municipal Council received Rs 80,000, second ranked Nambol Municipal Council received Rs 50,000 and third ranked Moirang Municipal Council received Rs 30,000. Consolation prizes of Rs 10,000 each were also handed over to Bishnupur Municipal Council, Ningthoukhong Municipal Council and Oinam Municipal Council respectively. A compact disk (CD) on ‘Swachh Survekshan 2018’ song was also released on the occasion.

During the second session of the workshop, N Gitkumar and N Uttam presented details of the survey which was followed by media interaction.

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