LAHORE: Punjab government has completed formalities to award human resource (HR) contracts to initiate the second phase of the Khadim-e-Punjab Saaf Dehat Programme (KPSDP) in 16 districts of the province.
An official of the Clean Punjab Roadmap Team (CPRT) told The Express Tribune that as soon as the HR contract is awarded, the work for collection of solid waste will be initiated. Meanwhile, the procurement process for the remaining districts will be completed. He added that the bid evaluation process for various areas had already been initiated, he added.
For the second phase of rural cleanliness drive, he highlighted, each union council of targeted districts will be get Rs50,000 per month for cleaning of rurhis (solid waste heaps). This money will be used for hiring tractor trolleys and other similar vehicles to transport waste from collection points in villages to regional dumping site.
For the second phase of the project, each district will procure an HR contractor who will provide sanitary workers for waste collection and disposal. These workers will be given a monthly remuneration of Rs25,000 per, including a base salary of Rs18,000 and other non-monetary perks, he said. The official added the exact amount of the recurring salary bill will be calculated on the basis of the number of workers provided by the HR contractor and other monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs).
During the first phase, it was initially decided to run this programme till June 2018, but later after deliberation over the timeframe for execution, the date was extended till December 2018. To make the project sustainable, the local community was mobilised to take ownership of the initiative and these efforts continued to ensure local community participation. For this purpose, around 10 development partners have been taken onboard to strategically implement village-level outreach mobilisation, he maintained.
He pointed out that safe and economic disposal of solid waste was critical for the success of a sustainable waste collection system.
So far, 758 dumping sites have been established across Punjab where waste has been deposited and covered with soil. However, in parallel, he indicated that the government is also exploring various options, like refuse-derived fuel (RDF) as well as waste to energy and composting to benefit the economic potential of the project.
In the first phase, Punjab government had allotted a sum of Rs492 million to 3,281 UCs. Each UC was given Rs150,000 to make the cleaning of rurhis possible. These UCs were given a freehand to spend this budget for equipment to remove solid waste accumulated in villages over the past seven decades.
This one-time cleanliness drive, under the first phase of the KPSDP, simultaneously ran in all 36 districts of Punjab, he said. The official stated that the idea behind this project was to extend and strengthen municipal services to rural areas.
The cleaning drive kicked off on November 20, 2017, and continued for a month, spearheaded by the Local Government and Community Development Department (LG-CDD) of Punjab. Then, committees were constituted at provincial, district and tehsil levels to supervise the cleanliness drive and chalk out a mechanism for the manner in which the drive would take place. The project was dovetailed UNICEF’s pilot schemes in Kasur, Bahawalpur and Okara, after it reviewed the performance of the local government in the cleaning drive and facilitated the process.
Punjab government has also committed a Local Government Development Package worth Rs11.8 billion rupees to the rural areas to improve infrastructure alongside the cleaning activities. These measures will lead to improved health outcomes and standards of living for citizens of rural areas across the province.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 6th, 2018.