Gurugram district slips from 5th to 25th in rural cleanliness survey
Due to its failure to construct community toilets in villages and submit self-assessment reports of the ongoing sanitation projects under Swachh Bharat Mission in a timebound manner, Gurugram district has slipped to 25th position this year in the Swachh Survekshan Grameen (SSG) 2019 survey, after being ranked fifth in 2018.
Gurugram’s score plummeted from 96.71 to 85.72, out of 100, this year, as the district administration failed to submit the status of open defecation-free (ODF) verification, self-assessment reports of the ongoing projects, promoting government projects through advertisements and construction of community toilets in scheduled caste habitation.
“We could not the feed the expenditure data for ongoing projects, such as the construction of toilet and, solid and liquid waste management, on the designated government portal in a timebound manner,” a senior official, handling Swachh Bharat Mission in the district, said.
“Also, one of the prime reasons for poor scoring is the absence of community toilets in villages and lack of advertisement of the projects, which are the set parameters of the survey,” the official said.
The survey commissioned by the department of drinking water and sanitation took into account citizen feedback and direct observations, such as waterlogging, the status of plastic litter, availability and usage of toilet facility to rank the district. In the direct observation category, the district scored 29.77 out of 30; while in the citizen feedback category, it secured 33.95 out of 35. The lowest score, 22 out of 35, was in the service level progress, which includes submission of self-assessment report by the district. This includes ODF verification and community toilets.
Rajesh Gupta, scheme in-charge, Swachh Bharat Mission, said, “It was in August-September that a team of five people from an independent agency appointed by the Central government visited schools, anganwadis, public health centres, religious and market places, and the panchayat office. Around 22 villages were inspected at that time. The team met the village heads and prepared their report.”
The National Green Tribunal, in its March 6 order, had also observed huge gaps in the implementation of Solid Waste Management (SWM) Rules in rural areas. The status report submitted by the state government showed that the necessary infrastructure did not exist. The NGT directed the state government to notify at least three major towns in the state and three panchayats in every district as model cities, towns or villages, which would be in complete compliance with the SWM Rules.
Of the 203 panchayats in the district, the administration identified eight gram panchayats, which had existing landfill sites for collection and segregation of waste.
Of the eight, the work has started in three villages, according to the officials.
Notably, on November 20, the occasion of World Toilet Day, DV Sadananda Gowda, the Union minister of the ministry of chemical and fertilizers, and Rattan Lal Kataria, Union minister of state of the ministry of Jal Shakti, awarded Swachh Survekshan Grameen (SSG) 2019 awards to top-ranked states, Union Territories and districts in the various categories.
As part of SSG 2019, 17,209 villages in 683 districts across India were covered. Based on the overall ranking, Haryana stood second and two of its districts — Faridabad and Rewari — were among the top three in the district category.