The State Government on Thursday declared three districts of the state Open Defecation Free under the Centre’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). This is the first biggest milestone achieved by the state government under the scheme.
Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, Abdul Haq declared the Srinagar, Leh and Kargil as Open Defecation Free Districts after the DCs of Respective Districts presented Declaration Certificates to the Minister in a function organized at Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre.
While congratulating the people of these three districts and the officials for working tirelessly to achieve the target, Minister said its because of the dedication of the people and the officials alike that helped to achieve the goal.
He said the Swach Bharat Mission has truly become the people’s movement as the government officials, NGOs, Private and Public Institutions, General Public has worked together to achieve the first milestone in the mission.
Congratulating the residents of Srinagar, Leh and KArgil, Abdul Haq said he was happy to declare these districts ODF and stressed on the need to become part of the people’s movement so that the goal of making whole state Open Defecation Free well before the set target of 2nd October, 2019.
Abdul Haq said the State Government officials worked in tough times despite severe challenges and hostile environment. He said by walking extra mile in helping to achieve the target the officials have set a trend to achieve goals despite hardships.
He said the three districts have set a challenge for other districts and hoped that the officials and the people of other districts will accept the challenge and will work with dedication to make their respective district Open Defecation Free.
Abdul Haq said the people of the state have more responsibility to make the valley clean and assist government in doing so as the valley is called as the Paradise on Earth. He said the Department of Rural Development is leading from the front in making the valley Paradise in real sense by cleaning environment including the fresh water streams and springs besides fighting a war against use of Polyethene and constructing Latrines to make the state Open Defecation Free.
On the occasion Minister was informed that under SBM, the department is going to spend 83.76 crores during the year 2017-18 and out of which Rs 52.21 crore have been spend till ending August 2017.
He was informed that this year 107 sanitary complexes have ben constructed for general public while about 7.79 lakh households have been covered under SBM out of the identified 14.93 lakh houselholds of the state.
During the function Minister also distributed prizes among students who participated in state level essay competition on Swach Bharat Mission. Abdul Wahid Bhat from Shopian who bagged the first prize was given a cash prize of Rs 31000 while 2nd prize winner-Priyanka of Kathua District was given Rs 21000 while 3rd Prize winner-Manpreet Singh Katoch of Ramban district was awarded a cash prize of Rs 11000.
Under Short Films Competition, Shabir Ahmad Ganai of Shopian District bagged the 1st prize and received a cash Prize of Rs 51000 while Anesh Sharma of Kathua district bagged 2nd prize and was awarded a cash prize of Rs 31000 while Mohammad Rafiq of Kupwara district bagged the third prize and received Rs 21000.
The Minister also presented mementos to DPOs and DCs of Srinagar, Leh and Kargil for their commendable job in making the districts ODF.
The award ceremony was attended by Commissioner Secretary Nirmal Sharma, DC Srinagar Syed Abid Rasheed Shah, Director Rural Development Kashmir Gazanfar Ali, Director Rural Sanitation GN Gasik , Mission Director SRLM BAkshi JAvid Himayun and CEOP IWMP Farooq Ahmad.