Shipping Ministry takes initiatives for sustainable, environment friendly, long term development of ports during ‘Swachhta Pakhwada’
For the first time ever, the twelve major ports under the Ministry of Shipping have been ranked on sanitation parameters, based on the efforts undertaken by them to counter waste generating sources with respect to port operation, office area, township area and the response to incoming ships. The assessment methodology included official interview, direct observation by the designated team from Quality Council of India and stakeholder’s interaction. The exercise was undertaken during the ‘Swachhta Pakhwada’ observed from the 16th to 31st of March 2017. Quality Council of India (QCI) was tasked to assess the Swachhata activities undertaken by all the Ports. While Haldia and Vizag ports bagged the first and second ranks respectively, almost all ports have achieved the benchmark for cleanliness or are well above it.
The ‘Swachhta Pakhwada’ was a major sanitation and cleanliness campaign launched by the Hon’ble Minister of Shipping, Sh. Nitin Gadakari on the 16th of March 2017 at the Shipping House in Mumbai, and observed by all the twelve major ports, five PSEs and seven attached offices/organizations of the Ministry of Shipping. This was a culmination of one year of activities undertaken to promote the vision ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ launched by Hon’ble Prime Minister Sh. Narendra Modi on 2nd October 2014.
The ‘Swachhta Pakhwada’ not only emphasized cleanliness and sanitation but brought the focus on the setting up of ‘Green Ports’ for sustainable, environment friendly, long term development of ports. The emphasis is on state-of-the art planning and implementation of an Environmental Management and Monitoring Plan or the ‘Green Plan’ in all Ports. This will be benchmarked to international standards, conventions and parameters. A consultant of repute has been appointed for this on 30th March 2017.
Approximately 42,000 employees of all organizations under the ministry participated in this cleanliness drive to make this a success. Better organizational and employee discipline to promote a drive against spitting and spilling of plastics & wastes was observed during the campaign.
All 193 lighthouses across India have been solarized and this mega drive culminated during the ‘Swachhata Pakhwada’. Clean and green energy is now used by the lighthouses, which generate 1.4 MW/hr of clean energy. Besides this an ambitious target of generating 100 MW of solar energy has been set up for the twelve major ports against which 23 MW was achieved by March 31, 2017.
Special awareness campaigns for cleaning of work place, tidying up of the office and port premises, tree plantation and beautification drives were undertaken at all Ports and other Organizations.
A common agenda was planned and implemented by all organizations to provide impetus to the program. This included renovations of rooms and toilets, cleaning of wharfs and sheds, repair of sheds, auction and disposal of all unserviceable items and unclaimed goods, painting with uniform colour code (unique to a Port) of all signages and boards, beautification and cleaning of parks, covering tiles, modernizing all toilet complexes , placing dust bins at regular intervals, boards – indicating cleanliness messages – dos & don’ts, painting, whitewashing all office buildings and residences with proper colour, proper keeping of files, records, dak pads and other important papers in the office/work places, cleaning and painting of statues, cleaning & repairing of all drainages and storm water system, plantation in open area, avenues and corners. Awards were given to departments or officers whose area/jurisdiction was found to be the most neat & clean.
Regular training was also imparted to staff to generate awareness and inculcate the importance of a clean environment.
Special emphasis was laid on use of technology to maintain cleanliness and hygiene at ports and the organisations under the Ministry of Shipping. Use of solid and liquid waste management, modernisation of toilets in all complexes under the Ministry, acquisition of Dust Suppression System, equipments for monitoring environmental pollution at ports , usage of bio-diesel are some of the highlights.
The campaign gave very encouraging results wherein 538 toilets and 265 office rooms were renovated; a total of 195.8 KM roads were repaired across Major Ports and others Organisations. 63696.32 tonnes of trash was disposed. Under the program of greening of Ports and office spaces, 65,498 new trees were planted.
The Swachhata drive was taken up in the main Secretariat of the Ministry of Shipping to renovate office rooms and toilet blocks. Renovation of 4 sections has been completed and orders have been issued for all others. Provision of pure and clean drinking water to all has been ensured. About 10,000 files have been scanned/weeded out and more than 300 old pieces of furniture and equipment have been listed for disposal.
The Ports and the attached offices/organizations under the Ministry responded extremely well to this mega cleanliness drive and all have met acceptable level of sanitation requirement.