news Thursday, April 30, 2015 - 05:30
The state government has released guidelines for this year’s “self-sufficiency scheme” in the public domain- on its official website. This is seen as an attempt to resuscitate the decade old project. Officials say that this move is a bid by the government to popularise the concept among people, especially those in urban areas to join hands with the government to “create and maintain community infrastructure”, states a report by The Times of India. As per the guidelines, members of the public can contribute one-third of the funds for a project. The government will, based on merit, bear the rest of the cost.  Among the projects the government hopes will get a boost from this scheme are the reverse osmosis plants for drinking water, libraries, noon meal centres, anganwadis, school kitchens and PDS outlets. Under this scheme, members of the public can take a stake in the setting up and maintenance of playgrounds, traffic islands, fountains and streetlights. The guidelines have specific stipulations to ensure projects don't end up gathering dust. Non-profit organisations and civic rights activists have welcomed the government’s renewed interest in this scheme. They believe that public contributions could change the dynamics of this system. Non-profit organisations and civic rights activists welcomed the government's renewed interest in the scheme, saying public contribution and participation could change the dynamics of the system.  While this scheme prevents the desilting of ponds, rivers and tanks, it allows the desilting of water tanks that are main sources of water supply. The guidelines make an exception for contributions to these high-cost initiatives by raising the ceiling for public contribution to 50% of the funds for the project. Local bodies and individuals must also execute desilting of water tanks via a tender process, the guidelines say.