J&K declared open defecation free

Guv launches ‘Swachhata Hi Seva’, meets Union HUA Secy

SRINAGAR: With over 11 lakh individual household toilets (IHHLs) and 1,350 community sanitary complexes constructed across the state in past four years, Jammu and Kashmir was today declared open defecation free (ODF), achieving the target one year in advance.

The significant announcement was made by Governor Satya Pal Malik on Saturday in an official function at the Sher-i-Kashmir International Conference Centre, where he also launched the “Swachhata Hi Seva (SHS)” Programme for J&K, a fortnight long program (till 2nd October) for public awareness and involvement of community.

Congratulating the state administration for efforts in making the state “100 per cent ODF”, Malik observed that due to sustained efforts of all the stakeholders, Jammu and Kashmir has achieved 100 per cent toilet coverage and has become ODF “one year in advance”.

“All the 22 districts, 4,171 gram panchayats and 7,565 villages in the state are self-declared ODF as per Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) SBM (G) guidelines,” an official spokesman said.

He said apart from constructing 1.1 million individual household toilets (IHHLs) and 1,350 community sanitary complexes in the state, the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has played a vital role in bringing about behavioural change in the people.

The Governor emphasised the high importance of cleanliness in ensuring overall well-being of families and communities and expressed concern for the “women folk who suffer from health ailments due to lack of toilet facilities at our homes”.

According to the spokesperson, Malik invoked Mahatma Gandhi to spread the message of cleanliness and hygiene.

The Governor said ensuring cleanliness of all the water bodies and lakes, cities, towns and villages of the state and formulating a sustainable solid and liquid waste disposal programme would be one of the priorities of his administration.

He said his administration will ensure uninterrupted supply of electricity during festivals and examinations, the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, Union Housing and Urban Affairs secretary Durga Shankar Mishra Saturday called on Governor and discussed various programmes underway in the state under the ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’.
The two discussed various programmes underway under the ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’ and status of many centrally-sponsored schemes launched for strengthening basic facilities in the urban areas of the state, an official spokesman said.

He said the duo also discussed about the challenges in the field of solid and liquid waste management.

Earlier, Mishra attended a meeting here to review the progress made on works related to the development of J-K’s twin capitals Jammu and Srinagar as ‘Smart Cities’.

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