Bhubaneswar: In one more step for women empowerment, the Odisha Government has handed over the operation and maintenance of septage treatment plants (SeTPs) to women SHGs.
The treatment facilities were handed over to women SHGs in Berhampur, Baripada and Sambalpur and a transgender SHG in Cuttack through a contract signed between the SHG and the ULBs at an event presided by Minister of Housing and Urban Development Pratap Jena, held through video conference on Friday.
“SHGs are now at the forefront of all development activities including sanitation in Odisha. Women SHGs have been managing the operation and maintenance of community toilets very well across several cities. So, we took the decision of handing over the operation and maintenance of SeTPs to the SHGs,” the Minister said.
“Community managed sanitation infrastructure not only results in community ownership
but also makes it more sustainable in the longer run,” said Principal Secretary, H&UDD, G Mathi Vathanan on the occasion.
He further said the SHGs have been selected after evaluation of their capacities and past record. Their members have been trained thoroughly and rigorously on different aspects, he added.
As per the contract, the ULBs will continue to provide handholding assistance and technical support to the SHGs during the agreement period to make the partnership successful.
With more than 90 additional septage treatment plants coming up in the State by next year, and with more than 32,000 existing SHGs across 114 towns and cities, community engagement for operation and maintenance of sanitation facilities holds enormous potential, said a press release.