78 GPs in C'magalur trying to bag Nirmal Gram Puraskar

It has been five years since the Total Sanitation Campaign was started by the central government. Even after five years, Chikmagalur district has not seen great progress in terms of sanitation and hygiene. Though the district stands at fourth position in the state, the work undertaken in this campaign is minimal.

A sum of Rs 24.16 crore was sanctioned for the district under the campaign, of which Rs 7.37 crore was released. This amount has been utilised through Gram Panchayats. Sringeri taluk has registered 100 per cent success and stands first in the district for implementation of the campaign.

If N R Pura receives an award this year then it will be declared as a taluk with 100 per cent coverage. Likewise all 19 panchayats in Mudigere taluk have received awards.

Hence it is also declared as taluk with no open defacation. Unfortunately Chikmagalur taluk, Kadur and Tarikere have not yet registered expected growth thereby lagging behind in implementation of the campaign.

Recommendations

Zilla Panchayat is all set to send a recommendation to get Nirmal Gram Puraskar for 78 GPs this year. The list has 15 GPs of Chikmagalur, 19 of Kadur, 9 of Koppa, 19 of Mudigere, one from NR Pura and 15 from Tarikere sent for the award.

In 2006-07 only five GPs had performed exceptionally well thereby winning the Nirmal Gram Puraskar. In 2007-08 as many as 40 Panchayats bagged the awards.

But after that only 14 Panchayats won the award. This year, many say that the trend is quite motivating as more and more Panchayats have decided to vye for award.

The Campaign was started in 2004 and the way district received the campaign itself was not encouraging. The district which has good literacy rate, should have performed well in this campaign like other literate districts like Dakshina Kannada and Shimoga.

Report

“We are certainly not happy with our progress. The Panchayat Development Officers have been asked to conduct an survey to ascertain the number of houses without toilets in the district and submit a report within 15 days. With this we intend to make the district free from open defacation,” said ZP President Prafulla Manjunath.

Helpless

ZP Chief said that APL families have accepted the campaign well but bringing the culture of using toilets could not be done effectively in case of BPL families. So far 59,964 BPL families out of 67,568 have built toilets. BPL families have not come forth to build toilets despite being told about the need for having their own toilets.

“We have even tried confiscating  their ration cards and cutting off their electricity connection thinking that they would at least then go for a toilet. Nothing has worked on the BPL families,” says a helpless ZP official.

Only 59 out of 226 GPs in the district have won the awards so far and officials feel that if the rural population truly takes it as a campaign then the all the GPs in the district can win the award by 2012.

Prize amount

The Nirmal Gram Puraskar has the prize money of Rs 2 lakh if population of the GP is less then 5,000. If the population is more than 5,000 then the amount is Rs 4 lakh.

This money can be used for GP development and follow up work of the sanitation.

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