A remote Gujarat village sets an example for cities to adopt govt schemes

Mon, 2017-08-21 13:02 -- SCC India Staff

In India, where there are cities struggling to provide even basic amenities to their tax-paying citizens, a village in Gujarat—Punsari—is equipped with modern amenities like CCTV cameras, WiFi and a renewable energy power station. However, a decade back, this remote village was not privy to even basic facilities like electricity and water.

The road was not so easy for a young sarpanch, Himanshu Patel. Despite lack of funds and a debt of Rs 1.2 lakh, the village administration did not ask for any financial assistance from either an NGO or any corporate. Rather, the administrator relied on Government schemes. Others villages can learn from its administrators, in how efficiently they have utilised government schemes to implement necessary amenities, and one of them being electricity.

The result: the village now has electricity, streetlights, a separate water distribution system, developed roads, and a toilet in each and every house. At present, Punsari is the only village that has implemented public announcement system for communicating with the villagers. All the public announcement systems are connected to the Gram Panchayat office from where the authorities can announce government schemes.

Meanwhile, the village panchayat has hired a waste collecting van, which gathers waste, and transfers it to a plant where renewable waste is created. The entire village is lit due to this renewable energy plant.

The village has also installed an RO water plant on a public-private partnership basis. As a result, now the villagers gets five litre can of mineral water at just Rs 4.

Apart from waste collection and water, the village has also installed WiFi, which provides 30 MBPS data to the villagers at just Rs 50. Initially, when it started, only a few villagers had registered for WiFi. But now, there are more than 300 Internet users in the village.

In addition, the village has also installed CCTV cameras at places like classrooms and all government offices. The footage can be viewed on mobile phones through an app.