Sanitation coverage of Vizianagaram district in Andhra Pradesh has seen exponential growth of 48% in 2017, having increased from 11.42% in 2014 to 86.73% in January 2018. The improvement can be attributed to some extent to regular fortnightly reviews on a real time basis by the Chief Minister that included several VCs and teleconferences every Monday.
In March 2017, the coastal district stood at 674th rank among all districts of the country and rose up to the 217th rank by October 2017 and 20th rank on 1st January, 2018 which is an impressive achievement. Currently ranking 11th among non-ODF (open defecation free) districts, the district will be declared ODF shortly.
According to ZSBP (Zila Swachh Bharat Prerak) of the district, it was the District Swachh Bharat Monitoring Cell, set up at the district headquarters that contributed to the success of their Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin Campaign.
Until September, the monitoring cell functioned at a smaller scale, monitoring specific programmes such as the ambitious “100 Hours” programme where 10,000 IHHLs (individual household latrines) were constructed in 100 hours, and in the process made 71 Gram Panchayats (GP) ODF.
However, the district administration felt need for a dedicated, full time functioning monitoring cell, as stable performance was lacking and departments still worked independently. It called for an effective convergence between all significant departments pertaining to the SBM-G programme. Thus, it was decided to strengthen the already existing monitoring cell by converging departments into 19 committees primarily based upon the task and not on the departmental line.
With a view to ensuring effective co-ordination among all stakeholder departments in the district and for smooth and speedy execution of the IHHL programme, the SBM-G monitoring cell was constituted. It has the representation of at least one higher level officer per department who would ensure continuous monitoring of the progress. Other than implementation, the monitoring cell coordinates the issues/bottleneck at field level during execution with converging departments, namely – Mandal Parishad’s, DRDA, DWMA, DPO, DEO, etc.
Major Committees of the Monitoring cell include IMIS for data management and data analysis, IEC for various triggering activities and training and capacity building, material procurement and management, media and PR, reporting and management of institutional and community toilets, etc. The District Collector closely monitors all the committees regularly via meetings, video conferences and tele-conferences.
The District Monitoring cell is where the entire brainstorming and planning takes place for the efficient delivery of the Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin.
(Inputs from ZSBP-Vizianagaram)