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All 97 Ganga Towns Will Achieve ODF Status By March 2019: Minister Hardeep Singh Puri

83 out of the 97 Ganga towns have already achieved ODF (open defecation free) status, of which 44 have been certified ODF by third-party verification

All 97 Ganga Towns Will Achieve ODF Status By March 2019: Minister Hardeep Singh Puri

New Delhi: On Wednesday (January 9), while addressing a gathering at a workshop on ‘Solid Waste Management in Ganga Towns’ in New Delhi, Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri, said “83 out of the 97 Ganga towns have already achieved ODF (open defecation free) status, of which 44 have been certified ODF through third-party verification. It is expected that all Ganga towns will achieve ODF status by March 2019.”

Shifting its focus from eradicating open defecation in Ganga towns to managing solid and liquid waste in these towns and highlighting the ministry’s seriousness towards rejuvenating Ganga through its flagship programme Namami Gange, Mr Puri said, “MoHUA is supporting the Ganga towns in achieving ODF status and for Solid Waste and Liquid Waste Management projects under Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) and Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) respectively.”

Also Read: Namami Gange: International Workshop On River Basin Management Held In New Delhi

All Ganga towns have been directed to implement scientific solid waste management. To assess the on-ground situation in these towns, the ministry has deployed Quality Council of India (QCI), a third party agency.

At the workshop, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), released results of independent assessment of ghats in 97 Ganga towns carried out by QCI.

The findings by QCI presented at the workshop advocated installing bar screens on drains falling into the Ganga to prevent solid waste flowing into the river, river surface cleaning and waste disposal arrangements among others.

Also Read: Ganga Clean Up: A Task Force Helps Clean The River In Pryagraj

Ganga Towns To Compete In Swachh Survekshan 2019

Swachh Survekshan 2019, what the government claims to be the world’s largest cleanliness survey to assess cities of India on their swachh quotient, will also cover 97 Ganga towns this year. At the workshop, Housing and Urban Affairs Secretary Durga Shanker Mishra announced a special category of awards for Ganga towns under Swachh Survekshan 2019. A protocol for this special category of award will also be issued shortly by the ministry, he said.

Also Read: Government Launches 100% Digital Swachh Survekshan 2019, Here Are Five Things To Know

The fourth edition of the annual cleanliness survey conducted by MoHUA started on January 4 and will continue till January 31, covering 4,237 towns and cities and 62 Cantonment Boards, impacting around 40 crore people.

Also Read: 254 projects sanctioned for Ganga rejuvenation; major changes in 2019: Nitin Gadkari

Lauding the efforts of the citizens and the government representatives, Mr Puri, said, “I believe that the secret to the success of the Mission whether it is the Ganga Mission or the Swachh Bharat Mission encompassing the whole country lies in the synergy between the elected representative and the Commissioner of the city.”

Recognising the citizen participation in achieving the dream of ODF India by October 2019, Mr Puri said, “Today, the tide has turned. What started as a Government programme has become a ‘Jan Andolan’. People and young children have embraced the Prime Minister’s idea like no other. Literally, societal awakening is taking place.”

Also Read: People’s Movement Became A Women’s Movement: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Lauds Swachh Bharat Abhiyan

“People are becoming conscious of the need to process waste into compost, to segregate waste and towards the fact that waste constitutes wealth”, said the minister.

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollutionclean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.

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