The Punjab Government has worked out a novel scheme under which foot soldiers of state and NGOs would take the message of Swach Bharat to over 13057 villages of the state to make the dream of making Punjab first open defection free state of the country by the year October 2016.Surjit Singh Rakhra, Water Supply and Sanitation Minister today unveiled this novel plan in which NGOs and state government would work hand in hand for next two years to bring a attitudinal change in the minds of public regarding sanitation and to motivate people for usage of toilets. A motivational program would be launched throughout the state to motivate people to become part of this state level movement to have toilets every household of the state.
A meeting between District Water Supply and Sanitation officers and World Bank Mission members was held with NGOs and other social organizations to discuss water supply and sanitation programmes being taken up in Punjab, to seek their association in the implementation of World Bank funded Rs 2200 crore project. The project is aiming to achieve household toilets & water connections for all households in rural areas of Punjab state. Under this project, household toilets will be provided to 6.25 lakh houses whereas 6.50 lakh households will be provided independent water connections.Addressing the workshop Mr. Rakhra informed the delegates about the resolve of State to provide water supply and sanitation facilities to each household in close partnership between DWSS and NGOs. Thereafter, Mr. Suresh Kumar, Additional Chief Secretary, Water Supply and Sanitation, in his opening remarks gave a brief about the project components and assured all possible help to NGOs and social organizations for working in partnership with DWSS.To achieve these objectives, Punjab Government invited participation of the NGOs and social organizations to ensure people’s participation in the programme and help in improved service delivery of water supply and sanitation facilities created under this project on sustainable basis. More than 30 NGOs and social organizations participated in the 1 day workshop and also gave presentations of their areas of expertise and assured the department of their support.The workshop was attended by all the Chief Engineers, Superintending Engineers and District Sanitation Nodal Officers. Mr. Ajoy Sharma, Secretary cum Head of Department specifically mentioned about the role of NGOs and civil society organizations in the project and conveyed his best wishes for the successful implementation of the project in partnership with NGOs.