Mr. G Mathi Vathanan was appointed as both the Commissioner and Secretary of the Department of Housing & Urban Development, Government of Odisha, in 2014. Since taking on this leadership position, he has focused on strengthening inclusion in sanitation services, and is grateful to his team for showing commitment and zeal in transforming Odisha’s urban development landscape.
The launch of the Odisha Urban Sanitation Policy followed by strong implementation of Odisha Urban Septage Management Guidelines issued in 2016, and Model Faecal Sludge and Septage Management Regulations issued in 2018 by the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) have ensured inclusive progress for the sanitation sector in the state. The combined efforts by the state have focused on strengthening sanitation workers who play a critical role in the upkeep and maintenance of sanitation systems.
The state demonstrated a strong political will to come up with a comprehensive scheme to transform the lives of core sanitation workers and their families. They set out with the objective to tackle the social stigma and discrimination experienced by sanitation workers, and address the minimal compensation they receive.
However, Mr. Mathi believes there is substantial progress to be made to ensure their safety and dignity. The state, under Mr. Mathi’s leaderships has been working relentlessly to see that various components of the new GARIMA scheme are implemented and the benefits reach the workers across the cities of Odisha.