A small Gram Panchayat (GP) in Sirmaur District of Himachal Pradesh, Ajoli was previously in a pathetic condition, in the absence of effective solid and liquid waste management systems and the poor condition of its roads and drains. However, the GP with a population of 2431 launched a campaign in 2014-15 under the Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen (SBM-G) and put in place systems that earned them a few laurels.
SBM: An inspiration to many
Inspired by the PM’s flagship programme, Ajoli launched a special campaign to clean up the village and address its problems. Taking support from the District administration and implementing the activities, the village in due course was declared open defecation free, having construced 100 per cent toilets. Moreover, underground drains and roads were constructed at ward level for effective disposal of liquid waste. Towards this, an amount of Rs. 20 lakhs was provided by the Department under the Swachh Bharat Mission. To support the above initiative, the Assembly funds were also used.
In the second phase, a shed was constructed for solid waste disposal. Two men were appointed to implement household level waste collection, having been provided with special battery rickshaws for collection of waste from various households. The collected waste was further segregated into dry, wet and sanitary waste. While wet waste waste was composted using an automatic composter, plastic was shredded and handed over to the local scrap dealer and sanitary pads are disposed off in an incinerator.
Similarly, segregated glass, paper, leather goods, cardboard, etc., were sold to scrap dealers and the income generated was used to maintain the shed.
Today, each house voluntarily supports the initiative by contributing Rs. 30 per month for the maintenance of the segregation units and also for supporting the salaries of the garbage collection workers.
Achievements of Panchayat
Their campaign earned the Gram Panchayat Ajoli various awards such as the Nirmal Gram Puraskar and under the Swachh Bharat Mission, they won prize money of Rs. 6,50,000. In 2016, they also won Maharishi Balmiki Complete Sanitation Award under Kangra Division. (B/S)