Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation
19-April-2016 18:46 IST
Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation connects with Karnataka

GoI offers support to address water crisis, achieve Swachh Bharat goals

A team of senior officers of the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation led by the Secretary, Shri Parameswaran Iyer, today visited the State of Karnataka and met with State officials to evaluate the water crisis and sanitation situation in the State. A meeting was held with the Minister, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Shri HK Patil, followed by meetings with the Chief Secretary and Additional Chief Secretary of the State. The Chief Secretary and Secretary also spoke to the District Collectors of the State via video conference.

The Secretary assured the senior officials of support from the Centre to combat the drought situation prevalent in parts of the State. A detailed discussion was held around possible drought management techniques and technologies, especially those dealing with water recharge and conservation. A key highlight of the meeting was a presentation made by a team of water experts from Latur district, who spoke about the “Shirpur Pattern” of watershed work that has been successful in many parts of Maharashtra. Efforts are being made to replicate and scale this technique, and a pilot of the technique is being planned in North Karnataka to help the drinking water situation in the region.

In the review meeting with Karnataka District Collectors on sanitation, a commitment was made by the officers to make 7 districts of Karnataka Open Defecation Free (ODF) in 2016-17. Of these, it is targeted that 4 districts will become ODF by October 2nd, 2016 – the second anniversary of the launch of the Swachh Bharat Mission. It is also targeted that every district of Karnataka will have at least some blocks or Gram Panchayats or villages that are ODF by October 2, 2016, for which a participatory celebration will be organized by the State. The Chief Secretary said that ODF movement has to be taken up as a community movement, and the involvement of the people is a must to make it a success.

As part of the continuing efforts of the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation to involve the non-governmental sector in scaling up Swachh Bharat Mission, the Secretary also held a discussion with the organization ‘Arghyam’ to discuss their experiences with sanitation. He also visited the Indian Institute for Human Settlements to discuss monitoring and evaluation of Swachh Bharat Mission and other technical issues related to the programme.