J&K achieves status of ODF Plus Model

Precious Kashmir News
Srinagar, Sep 29: The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, having achieved ODF Plus Model status on 14th August’ 2023, has declared all its 6650 villages across 285 blocks in 20 districts as ODF Plus Model.
The achievement of ODF Plus Model for all villages in the UT is a significant milestone as it goes beyond constructing and use of toilets towards cleanliness by managing grey water and solid waste in each village.
Pertinently, for a village to achieve the status of ODF plus Model, it has to go through three stages of ODF Plus including ODF plus Aspiring, ODF plus Rising and ODF plus Model. Only when a village has achieved a condition where it is visually clean with minimal litter and stagnant water, apart from the solid and liquid waste management and adequate IEC activities it is declared as ODF plus Model.
In its attempt to make all villages ODF Plus Model, the Rural Sanitation department has made a comprehensive plan which was meticulously knitted in bringing all the stakeholders on board before execution of the same. The department made Village Sanitation Saturation Plans (VSSP) for each village to ensure it has assets available for solid liquid waste management. Based on the plans, for grey water management i.e. water generated from kitchen, bathing etc. soak pits, magic and leach pits have been developed by the department at household and community level. About 353631 individual soak pits and 23781 community soak pits have been constructed by the department. Wherever kitchen gardens are available people have been motivated to dispose grey water through the kitchen gardens.
For biodegradable waste management, individual and community compost pits have been constructed. Nearly, 137824 individual compost pits and 12118 community compost pits have been constructed either by the department or by people themselves in their households. People are being encouraged to segregate dry and wet waste and process wet waste in compost pits. Also, 1850 waste collection and segregation sheds have been constructed for proper disposal of waste. Besides, 536 Community Sanitary Complexes have also been constructed in J&K.
GOBARdhan which is Galvanising Organic Bio Agro Resource is a waste to wealth initiative where animal dung and kitchen waste is used to generate biogas/bio slurry. While two such projects are already functional in JK UT, 18 more such projects are in the final stage of completion.
Door to Door collection of waste has been initiated in all the panchayats. Through involvement of locals, youth clubs, NGOs, expert agencies waste is being collected from households to be taken to segregation sheds where waste is segregated into various categories such as paper, wood, plastic etc. for its disposal. Some of these segregation shed are semi mechanized with bailers, shredders etc.
To cater to plastic waste in villages, Plastic Waste Management Units (PWMU) are being established in each block, some of which are in the final stage of completion. The plastic in these centers would be cleaned, shredded, bailed etc. for its final disposal. The complete life cycle of the waste is properly managed.
The work which was done on ground was promptly captured and updated on the IMIS portal of SBM- G by the Blocks and Districts which facilitated timely completion of the task and making JK UT one of the first few UTs/ States in the country to achieve this goal. The entire work is required to be uploaded on the SBM(G) IMIS portal. For declaring a village as ODF plus besides the uploading of ground reporting with clear visual, videos of Gram Sabhas being conducted and declaring their villages as ODF Plus are all required to be uploaded on the portal.
To enhance Capacity Building of officers, village level workers, elected representatives about Swachhata, Capacity Building programs across 285 blocks in 20 districts have been conducted at the panchayat level. Under the initiative, 9793 people have been trained to further train the people professionally for sustaining the goals of the mission.
Trainers have been trained to dispense information and provide orientations at the panchayat level. SBM(G) is not just a scheme for asset creation but is a behavioural change program which each household of the UT has to embrace for its success.
The focus of the departments on IEC through paintings, banners, awareness programs, plog runs, nukkad nataks is immense. Innovative ideas such as Swacchata Karwan, Swachhata Karwaan 2.0, Swachhata Internship, Swachh Yodha Pratiyogita, Swachhaton, Swachhata Bulletin and Swachhata Quiz have been launched to nudge behavioral change through cleanliness.
The role of PRIs is pivotal in motivating people to understand the importance of Swachhata and help in making the everyday activities such as Door to Door collection of waste a success. Some elected representatives have done exceptional work in their respective panchayats for which they have received awards and appreciation at the UT and national level.
Throughout Phase II of the Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen campaign, J&K has carried out many innovative campaigns and initiatives such as “Pink Toilets” to improve school attendance, Zero Landfill Shri Amarnath Ji Yatras, Give Polythene Get Gold campaign, pink societies to promote holistic development, Sarpanch Samvads, Swachhata internship, Swachhata quiz and Swachh Yodha Pratiyogita.
In another remarkable move towards combating the sanitation challenges in rural areas of Jammu and Kashmir, the Directorate of Rural Sanitation, J&K announced the nomination of country’s highest gallantry awardee, the Param Var Chakra recipient Captain Bana Singh, a dedicated and decorated former soldier, as the ambassador for the “War Against Waste” initiative in Jammu & Kashmir.
As part of another initiative aligning with the ongoing Swachhata Hi Seva campaign, the Directorate of Rural Sanitation in Jammu and Kashmir has introduced the ‘Swachhata Bulletin’. Its primary objective is to monitor and share daily updates on Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) activities conducted by districts under SHS 2023. It would create a platform wherein additional community members would come forward and add to the cause of Swachh and Swasth Bharat. The bulletin can be used to collect feedback from stakeholders, aiding in program evaluation and improvement
Through consistent efforts, support of the people and elected representatives the department has achieved the status of ODF Plus Model. However, the biggest challenge shall be in sustaining the efforts that have been put to ensure that J&K becomes the cleanest UT of the country.
Further, engaging the community is pivotal in making ODF Plus sustainable. Local communities shall be actively involved in the planning, implementation, and maintenance of sanitation facilities. This not only ensures a sense of ownership but also enhances accountability.
Moreover, leveraging technology and innovation can significantly enhance sustainability. The use of smart sanitation solutions, remote monitoring and data analytics can help in efficient resource allocation and timely maintenance.
Sustainability in ODF Plus is not a one-time achievement but a continuous journey. It requires a multi-dimensional approach encompassing infrastructure development, behavioral change, community engagement, financial sustainability, technology integration, and more. By embracing these principles, J&K can not only sustain its ODF Plus Model status but also maintain it for generations to come, ensuring a cleaner, healthier and more sustainable future.
It was through all such initiatives, along with concerted efforts of the Department, support of the people, and elected representatives in panchayats that the UT was successful in attaining the ODF Plus Model status.

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