'Long and short term plans for urban sanitation vital'

Effecient management water resources also stressed

All major cities should come up with both long term and short term plans to deal with urban sanitation issues, said Satya Murthy, Additional Chief Secretary, Urban Development Department, here on Monday.

“If such plans do not exist, problems of waste management similar to the ones faced by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike will be witnessed around the country,” he said.
He was speaking after inaugurating a two-day national workshop on urban sanitation, organised by the Administrative Training Institute (ATI) and State Institute for Urban Development.

He said, urban sanitation should be taken up seriously to ensure a healthy environment in the country.

While Bangalore is an example of the severity of waste management problems, other cities should look at the best practices executed elsewhere in the country, so that they can efficiently manage the problem, he said.

The principles of change management find relevance in solving many issues related to urban sanitation. Officials of urban bodies, such as engineers and commissioners, have to discharge their duties consciously to solve these problems, he said.

Noting that reliable data to manage urban sanitation was lacking, he said, the cities should come up with plans to save, use and reuse waste. Efficient management of water resources should also be a prime concern for civic bodies, he said.

Amita Prasad, director general, ATI, said, the recent census shows that only 31 per cent of the urban population has safe sewerage, 53 per cent has access to safe drinking water and open defecation is still a problem in urban areas.

She said, Karnataka was ahead when compared to other States, with respect to urbanisation.

The National Urban Sanitation Policy, 2008, has chalked out instructions for the preparation of City Sanitation Plan (CSP). So, the State Institute of Urban Development has got CSP prepared for 26 towns and cities in five backward districts by the All India Institute for Local Self-Government, Pune, she said.

Speaking on urban sanitation problems, she said, the Government alone will not be able to solve it, unless urban citizens came out to assist the government.

About 60 participants from Karnataka, Goa, Kerala, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh, and NGOs, are taking part in the deliberations.

As part of the workshop, an exhibition has been arranged to showcase the efforts of NGOs and resource persons at ATI to solve the problems of urban sanitation.
The workshop is sponsored by the Union department of Personnel, Pensions and Public Grievances.

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