CS declares all the 6650 villages of UT as‘ODF+ Model’ category Panchayats

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Virtually tours different Panchayats; takes feedback from PRI members

SRINAGAR: Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta today declared all the 6650 villages in 285 blocks of the UT as ‘ODF+ Model’ category villages free from open defecation and having proper waste disposal mechanism.

Those who were present on the occasion included Commissioner Secretary, RDD; Secretary in RDD; District Development Council, Chairpersons; Deputy Commissioners; Director, Rural Development Jammu/Kashmir; Director, Rural Sanitation; PRI members and many other concerned officers of the Department.

Dr Mehta complimented the Department and the Deputy Commissioners for achieving this remarkable feat ahead of the 77th Independence Day. He called it worth the moment which all of the UT should take pride in. He made out that there could be no better a celebration than what J&K has achieved in a very brief period of time.

The Chief Secretary observed that the UT has achieved every milestone it has set for itself. He recalled that looking back in times these accomplishments appeared insurmountable but with sheer determination and team work it was made possible here.

He remarked that sanitation is not a single day affair but a continuous process that needs to be carried forward with same momentum. He asked for talking about it in every village meeting like Gram Sabhas or other convergence meetings held monthly or weekly there. He also enjoined upon the PRIs to enforce the cleanliness measures strictly in their areas by penalizing the littering of waste in the surroundings.

On the occasion he also directed the authorities to formulate a plan to reduce the poverty level to ‘Zero’ here. He made out that the data on multidimensional poverty here points out  low ratio of its incidence here. He observed that it shows around 2 lakh souls or 40000 families as of now at most in the whole of UT living below poverty line. He observed that the LG Administration is ready to take every measure or come up with best possible solution to alleviate this issue in J&K.

He maintained that it is not an uphill task to cover these families under available beneficiary oriented schemes guaranteeing gainful employment to them. He asked every Deputy Commissioner to identify and contact these families in order to ascertain their skills or aspirations regarding their possible chances of livelihoods within next 4 months so that J&K has zero poverty incidence till 2024.

The Chief Secretary also talked to the District Development Council Chairpersons from Jammu, Srinagar, Bandipora, Kupwara, Udhampur and Kathua. He took their feedback about the efforts made in their respective areas and felicitated them for reaching this milestone by their concerted efforts.

Besides talking to each DC, the Chief Secretary also listened to the views of PRI members who aired their views while he made a virtual tour of dozens of Panchayats across the districts of the UT. He virtually inspected different assets like segregation sheds, Plastic Waste Management units, composit/soak pits, or door to door collection of waste carried out in these villages.

While speaking on the occasion the Commissioner Secretary, RDD, Mandeep Kaur affiliated this success to the team work put by the Department and District administration jointly. She also said that it would not be misplaced to give credit to the local PRI members for extending their unequivocal support to such efforts in their areas. She also reminisced about different success stories of Panchayats were waste was turned into wealth by the vision of members there.

Earlier, Director Rural Sanitation, Charandeep Singh gave his introductory remarks and informed the meeting that all the 6650 villages in 285 blocks of the UT have been successful in accomplishing the status of ODF+ Model category as per the set norms of the concerned Central Ministry. He informed that the UT stands at 3rd rank in the country for this unique achievement.

All of these public representatives showed their gratitude towards the LG Administration for extending whole-hearted support which catalyzed their efforts to bear such fruits. They also expressed satisfaction over the kind of assistance provided to them and assured that it would enhance overall beauty and facilities in their respective areas in the days to come.