The need for people's participation, and a well-planned approach by officials to ensure sanitation in a municipal town was stressed at the Regional Dissemination Workshop on National Urban Sanitation Policy (NUSP) and City Sanitation Plan (CSP) here on Friday.

Inaugurating the workshop, K. Rajasekaran, Regional Engineer, Municipal Administration, Thanjavur region, said that hygiene was once a personal matter. But with population explosion and changing life styles, waste generation is very high in urban areas. As a result, managing and ensuring sanitation in public places has become a challenging task. While on one hand training officials on efficient waste management is paramount, people should also be sensitised to participate in the process, Mr. Rajasekaran said.

The workshop was organised by Regional Directorate of Municipal Administration, Thanjavur and Exnora International and Water Aid.

T. Vijay Anand, Programme Coordinator, Exnora International, said that the Union Ministry of Urban Development had launched the National Urban Sanitation Policy (NUSP) in October 2008 to accelerate the tempo of establishing sustainable sanitation in cities, municipal towns and town panchayats. The City Sanitation Plan (CSP) envisaged under NUSP will be the basis for all funding by the State governments and the Central government in future. The CSP, that aims at sustainable sanitation services to all sections of society, should be technically feasible and be prepared and finalised in a participatory manner .

It has been planned to prepare CSP for nine Municipalities in Tamil Nadu in a period of three years. The plan is already executed at Kulithalai in Karur district, Velankanni in Nagapattinam district and Kotaiyur in Sivaganga district. Six more municipalities can join in the process. They will be included depending upon their proposal to join the scheme, Mr. Vijay Anand said. The workshop is to motivate the officers to send their proposals.

A. Amuthavel, Chairman, Kulithalai Municipality said that Kulithalai has emerged as a model in the State in solid waste management through community participation. Sanitary workers have been given incentives for collecting plastic waste in the town. “We cleaned the places where the wastes are dumped and drew rangolis in those areas, thus making it clean and hygiene. We also took the help of students and school teachers in creating awareness about solid waste management,” Mr. Amuthavel said.

P. Kalimuthu, Commissioner of Thanjavur Municipality, and V. Ganapathy, Liaison Officer, Exnora International, also spoke.