GUWAHATI, July 3: Saying that safai karmis are the primary stakeholders in keeping the cities and towns clean, Sonowal stated that the society needs to give respect to these workers so that they can lead a life of dignity. Respect would give them a sense a belongingness which would motivate them to take cleanliness as their solemn duty and moral obligation, he said. The chief minister was reviewing the functioning of the Urban Development Department and Town and Country Planning Department at his conference room at Janata Bhawan, a government communiqué said.
According to the communiqué, Sonowal also asked the Directorate of Municipal Administration to provide uniform along with gloves and boots for the sweepers and cleaners employed by the Directorate in the state so that they get a distinct identity. Sonowal also directed to engage NGOs for cleaning localities and managing cleanliness activities at micro level.
During the review meeting, urging the Urban Development Department and Town and Country Planning Department to work with renewed vigour and vision plans to bring about holistic change to develop the cities and towns of the state keeping in the mind the demands of the future, Sonowal said that apart from developing the cities and towns to modern standards, the departments should identify other places which can be developed as towns and cities in future.
Directing UD Department to plan for erecting gates at the entry points of the towns and cities of the state, the chief minister said that beautiful structures at the entry points of these places would uplift the beauty and provide the residents a sense of satisfaction about their places. He also asked Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna –Urban to expedite the fund utilization activities to realise the dream of urban poor of owning a house.
Directing the Swacch Bharat Mission to achieve the goals of open defecation free urban areas, the chief minister suggested the making toilets near railway tracks and other such areas where open defection is rampant. People should be motivated to have a sense of ownership of the public toilets which would help in sustaining these toilets for longer duration, he opined.
The chief minister also directed the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM) to ramp up their activities for providing skill training to the youth in urban areas. He also directed the for releasing Rs 15,000 each to 10,000 SHGs in urban areas for a total cost of Rs 15 crore for giving momentum to the economic activities through sustainable means.
The chief minister also directed the Assam Housing Board to work with a vision and compete with the private players in construction of houses and residential complexes. He directed the Board to acquire the technical competence and venture out of the state into the other NE states for construction of houses by competing with the private players. Directing the Assam Urban Water Supply & Sewage Board (AUWS&SB) to go for Public Private Partnership (PPP) in providing drinking water to the people in urban areas, the chief minister said that entry of private players would bring discipline and efficiency into the public water supply system. Minister for Town and Country Planning Atul Bora, Minister of State for Urban Development Pijush Hazarika, Media Adviser to the Chief Minister Hrishikesh Goswami, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Sanjay Lohia, Principal Secretary of Urban Development Department Ajay Tiwari along with other top officials of the concerned departments were also present in the meeting.