Dharamshala members and the Gurudwara Committee have pitched in to assist Nawankot village in Amritsar district of Punjab in operation and maintenance of the newly built community sanitary complex (CSC), their decision demonstrating solidarity with the village’s ODF Plus strategy which includes sustainability of its ODF status.
The CSC was constructed to cater to the floating population, thanks to the initiative of twice elected village Sarpanch, Sh. Sukhwinder Singh who was active on social media and took steps to expedite SBM-G Phase II parameters. Currently as many as 150 people avail of the sanitation facility.
The village which consists of 250 households and a population of 1500 individuals was declared ODF in June 2018 after the construction of 29 individual household toilets under Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) Phase I. The new CSC ensures that no one is left behind. It is also particularly useful when functions and festivals are held for which large congregations gather in the village.
Construction and Facilities: Being a labourer by profession, the Sarpanch took leadership in the construction of the CSC, ensuring a strong foundation with well fitted tiles and sturdy walls, using quality material.
Following a proposal sent to the district administration, funding was secured though convergence of funds from SBM-G (Rs.2.10 lakhs) and Finance Commission (Rs.90,000), amounting to Rs. 3 lakhs. Additionally, Rs. 20,000 was spent from the Panchayat funds for tile work around the CSC, which enhanced the appearance.
Having commenced construction in April 2021, the facility was functional in June 2021.
Features of the CSC: Built across an area of 5 Marla, the CSC consists of 4 bathrooms with Indian and western toilets – separate for men, women and the differently abled. While all units have been equipped with handwashing area, soap, electricity and running water, the unit for the physically challenged has a ramp leading to it. A 500-litre water tank has been installed atop the roof and led bulbs of different shades have been fixed to make the facility identifiable at night.
Operation and Maintenance: A 12-member committee headed by the Sarpanch has been formed to take care of repair, maintenance and proper usage of the facility, with funds from the Finance Commission Grants. Both the Dharamshala and Gurudwara have volunteered to clean the facility and look after its maintenance.
A dedicated sanitation worker Smt. Rajwinder Kaur cleans the facility each day and receives a monthly wage of Rs.1000 per month; while NREGA workers too have volunteered to take care of the CSC. Rs. 2000 has been kept aside for repair and maintenance costs from panchayat funds. As for electricity bills, they will be paid by the Dharamshala and water charges along with the regular water bill.