Reform Initiatives, in Water Supply & Sanitation Sector, calls for a whole hearted involvement and ownership oriented decisive role of the Community in Operation & Maintenance (O&M) in both the sectors, to make it more community friendly.
Keeping in view of sustainability in water sector, the guidelines for necessary maintenance of water supply arrangement are proposed to be decentralized to the Gaon Panchayat (GP) putting the ownership to the concerned GPs towards support of O&M initiatives.
In the above back cloth, a reform initiative is fostered by the PHED, Assam to involve the community in the O&M of rural PWSS, in the interest of sustained levels of services. Much of the ground-breaking work on community management of PWSS has already started rolling in many areas and such endeavor has succeeded to shift the responsibility and the ownership of the rural PWSS to the community to ensure the smooth functioning of the PWSS. Furthermore, cost recovery for O&M and replacement costs, in part or full, has also led to viable economics and sustainability of the schemes. These initiatives are being institutionalized with formation Water Users’ Committees for each PWSSs.
In the sanitation sector, Swachh Bharat Mission–Gramin has evoked a sense of responsibility among the people. With citizens now becoming active participants in cleanliness activities across the nation, the dream of a ‘Clean India’ once seen by Mahatma Gandhi has begun to get a shape.
People from different sections of the society have come forward and joined this mass movement of cleanliness. From government officials to jawans, bollywood actors to the sportspersons, industrialists to spiritual leaders, all have lined up for the noble work. Millions of people across the country have been day after day joining the cleanliness initiatives of the government departments, NGOs and local community centres to make India clean. Organising frequent cleanliness campaigns to spreading awareness about hygiene through plays and music is also being widely carried out across the nation. Bollywood celebrities to television actors came forward and actively joined the initiative.
Hon’ble Chief Minister of Assam has set the vision of Open Defecation Free Assam within 2017. The State SBM-G Mission has drawn up plans to achieve the Goal set by Hon’ble Chief Minister. Community participation is one of the core activities of Swachh Bharat Mission to achieve the envisioned goal of the program. In the process of community participation, one of the major challenges ahead is reaching out to nearly 25 lakh families of the state.