Make sanitation top priority: PM Modi to Jammu-Kashmir government

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said sanitation should be made the first priority for Jammu and Kashmir, which is famous for its tourist destinations. The prime minister, during a review meeting on the progress of his flagship Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) on Tuesday, interacted with the chief secretaries of various states and enquired about the steps taken so far by their governments to declare all the districts in their respective states open defecation free (ODF), an official spokesperson said.

Apprising the prime minister about the progress made by the state in this regard, J-K Chief Secretary BB Vyas said the state has achieved 55 per cent coverage of Individual House Hold Latrines (IHHL) till now and that it will increase up to 60 per cent by April 10, 2018. Notably, the state is yet to achieve the ODF status. Modi, according to the spokesperson, asked the state chief secretary to cover Jammu province in mission mode before the durbar move to Srinagar, the summer capital of the state.

Also, the chief secretary was told by the prime minister to make efforts on making all district en route to the Amarnath Yatra ODF, the spokesperson said. Vyas, who assured the prime minister of achieving the target in prescribed time, said the state has to cover over 6.83 lakh toilets for which a detailed month-wise report has already been prepared and targets have been fixed for each district.

He also informed the prime minister about the districts that have attained the ODF status in the state. The list included names like Leh, Kargil, Srinagar and Shopian. Also, during the meeting, a presentation was made by the Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Parameswaran Iyer regarding status of progress made under the programme in the four states including JK, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Bihar.

Under the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), the government aims to attain 100 per cent scientific management of solid waste, and also make the country Open-Defecation Free (ODF) by October 2, 2019, the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi.

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