The state Panchayats and Rural Development department is all set to start its second phase of Mission Nirmal Bangla programme through a new initiative ‘Clean Village’ (Porichonno Gram). The department will depute observer across the districts for supervising the programme.
“People dumping garbage, food waste etc close to their respective residences in an open vacant place is quite common in rural Bengal. This is an unhealthy practice which people should be encouraged to shun. So we identify certain places at strategic locations and place garbage bins there urging them to dump things there. The bins will be cleaned up on a regular basis by workers,” said Subrata Mukherjee, minister for Panchayats and Rural Development.
Mukherjee said that the initiative will kick off from Nadia district which on April 30, 2015 had become the first Indian district to earn Open Defecation Free (ODF) status under Nirmal Bangla (Toilet for All) programme. Awareness against use of plastic will also be an integral part of the Porichonno Gram programme.
“We will involve the Gram Sabha, gram samities, zilla parishads in the programme,” he added. Sources said that the department will conduct a survey of 41161 villages to find out whether there is arrangement of drainage facilities to prevent water accumulation and how much use of plastic is made in these villages. The feedback will be taken and work will go on for a period of five years. The department will also encourage use of organic fertiliser .
Rural Bengal is now nearly 100 percent open defecation free and more than 1.35 families across the state have been brought under this ambit. There are some far flung areas in Purulia and Bankura where the department has not yet been able to come up with toilets as the lockdown due to COVID pandemic had hampered work. However, the department is hopeful of achieving 100 percent by July. The work for the new programme is expected to start soon after 100 percent ODF is achieved.