Only 3 JK districts declared open defecation free so far

Only 3 JK districts declared open defecation free so far
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GOI Secy reviews SBM Gramin in state

JAMMU: Three districts from J&K figure in the 350 districts declared open defecation free across India, Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Parameswaran Iyer said Wednesday. The three districts are Leh, Kargil and Srinagar. Iyer and state’s Chief Secretary, B B Vyas co-chaired a video conference with Deputy Commissioners (DCs) here to review the progress of the flagship Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM)- Gramin programme in J&K. Director General (Special Project), Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Government of India, Akshay Kumar Rout, Secretary, PHE Department, Divisional Commissioner, Jammu and other senior officers were present. Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir participated in the meeting through video conference. While appreciating the progress made by the state in the implementation of the SBM Gramin programme, Iyer informed that across the country, sanitation coverage in the last three years has doubled from overall 38% to 78% and in J&K it has reached upto 50% from 23% during the same period. He said over 350 Districts across the country have been declared ODF including three from J&K viz Leh, Kargil and Srinagar. He said over 4 Lakh toilets have been built in the State during the last three years including 2.39 Lakh in 2017-18. Iyer said with the active support of the State and the Central Government in promoting cleanliness and achieving the objective of Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin), efforts should be made to make and declare the entire State ODF by or before December, 2018. He complimented the State for conversion of 94% dysfunctional toilets into functional ones and for 100% conversion of insanitary latrines and coverage of Gram Panchayats (GPs). During the meeting key issues related to achieving ODF status, ODF verification process, IMIS uploading and sustainability of SBM (G) assets and their Geo-Tagging, capacity building, hiring & training of Swachigarhis and mass outreach were discussed in detail. Based upon the coverage already achieved, month-wise timelines were drawn for the districts to be targeted for ODF by or before December, 2018. The Districts of Shopian and Pulwama with over 75% coverage already are expected to be declared ODF by March 2018. Chief Secretary directed the DCs to ensure that timelines fixed for their respective districts are adhered to and called upon the districts lagging behind to make a determined push for the purpose. He also stressed on completion of Geo-Tagging of all assets and the ODF verification process of villages by the District Level Committees constituted for the purpose within the next 45 days.

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