Jammu and Kashmir Declared Open Defecation-Free (ODF) Plus Model: A Milestone in Sanitation

Jammu and Kashmir Declared Open Defecation-Free (ODF) Plus Model: A Milestone in Sanitation
Jammu and Kashmir Declared Open Defecation-Free (ODF) Plus Model: A Milestone in Sanitation

In a remarkable achievement, all 6,650 villages of Jammu and Kashmir have been officially declared as Open Defecation-Free (ODF) Plus Model under the Swachh Bharat Mission. This distinction signifies a comprehensive approach to sanitation, encompassing not only the construction of toilets but also the effective management of solid waste and greywater in every village.

Earning the ODF Plus Model status is not an overnight accomplishment but a progressive journey comprising three distinct stages: Aspiring, Rising, and Model. Villages advance through these stages by meeting specific criteria and demonstrating their commitment to cleanliness and sanitation.

When a village showcases visible cleanliness with minimal litter, addresses stagnant water issues, implements efficient solid and liquid waste management practices, and conducts adequate information, education, and communication (IEC) activities, it earns the coveted title of ODF Plus Model.

This significant milestone was made possible through meticulous coordination and collaborative efforts. The rural sanitation department devised a comprehensive plan that engaged all stakeholders in its execution. Village Sanitation Saturation Plans (VSSP) were meticulously crafted for each village, ensuring the availability of essential infrastructure and resources for the management of solid and liquid waste.

Particular attention was given to greywater management, which involves the proper handling of water generated from activities such as cooking and bathing. Both household and community-level departments established soak pits, magic pits, and leach pits to efficiently manage greywater.

Moreover, residents were encouraged to segregate waste and process organic waste in compost pits. The construction of 1,850 waste collection and segregation sheds further bolstered proper waste disposal. Additionally, 536 community sanitary complexes were established throughout Jammu and Kashmir, contributing significantly to improved sanitation.

An essential aspect of the ODF Plus Model initiative is the effective management of plastic waste. Plastic Waste Management Units (PWMUs) were set up in each block, with many nearing completion. These units are designed to clean, shred, and bail plastic waste for appropriate disposal, ensuring a well-organized waste management cycle from collection to final disposal.

Throughout Phase 2 of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen), Jammu and Kashmir have embarked on numerous innovative campaigns and initiatives to promote cleanliness and sanitation. These include the introduction of Pink Toilets to enhance school attendance, the implementation of a zero-landfill policy during the Amarnath Yatra, the launch of the ‘Give Polythene Get Gold’ campaign, the promotion of ‘pink societies’ for holistic development, Sarpanch Samvads (Village Head Dialogues), Swachhata internships, Swachhata quizzes, and the Swachh Yodha Pratiyogita (Cleanliness Warrior Competition).

This remarkable accomplishment reflects the unwavering dedication of the government, the tireless efforts of various departments, and the active engagement of citizens in upholding cleanliness and sanitation. As the union territory continues to focus on sustainable waste management and innovative campaigns, it serves as a compelling example for the rest of the nation in its pursuit of a cleaner and healthier India.