Goals of the Swachh Bharat Mission can’t be attained without upgradation of urban local bodies with latest technology and knowledge, and linking them with career advancement, recommends a report by climate think tank TERI. It also highlights the plight of the people involved in de-sludging suggesting that the government should impart required skills to such people and combine training with immediate placement. “Making capacity-building activities for the urban local bodies mandatory and linking them with career advancement would help in integrating capacity building with rest of the development plans of cities.
It will close the gap in capacity enhancement efforts to attain the goal of the mission,” suggests the TERI report.It is part of a three year (2014-17) collaborating programme undertaken by TERI, Coca-Cola India and USAID. The report has recommended that by bringing in the improvements in the capacities of the key institutions involved in smooth functioning of the urban water and sanitation sector, it is essential to use the funds set aside for capacity building by the mission in urban areas. “Improve the capacity of urban local body officials to undertake preventive maintenance of sanitation infrastructure networks,” says the report. It has also suggested enhancing institutional, financial and human resource capacities of these bodies for improved management of faecal sludge and septage. Taking a page out of the success story of Bangladesh in eliminating outside defecation by strengthening the communities at the grass root level, the report has recommended that the government educate, motivate and mobilise households and communities towards enhanced engagement in planning and implementing sanitation services. Emphasising on the contribution of non-governmental organisations, the report has urged the government to enhance the capacities of the NGOs and other partners to engage themselves effectively in the entire water, sanitation and hygiene sector.