Nirmal Gram Puraskar for 798 Haryana villages

Special Correspondent

CHANDIGARH: Sanitation is fast catching up with the villagers of Haryana, sanitising villages against diseases, improving the quality of life and winning gram panchayats’ recognition and reward from the Centre, an official spokesman said here on Saturday.

He said 798 panchayats in the State had earned Rs.11.29 crore as award money during 2007-08 under the Total Sanitation Campaign, a flagship programme launched by the Centre. In the preceding fiscal, only 60 gram panchayats had won the award.

He said the Nirmal Gram Puraskar is given to each such panchayat which gets individual toilets constructed in all houses, ensures 100 per cent sanitation in schools and anganwadis and rids the village of the despicable practice of open defecation, dry latrines and manual scavenging.

The award money is used for improving and maintaining sanitation and creation of community sanitation facilities at public places. It is also spent on meeting the solid and liquid waste management needs, ensuring maintenance of sanitary facilities, promoting vermi-compost, biogas-linked toilets, producing sanitary napkins, constructing incinerators and creating sanitation facilities for families belonging to the SC and the ST.

The Nirmal Gram Puraskar was instituted in 2004-05 under the Total Sanitation Campaign to promote sanitation in rural areas. Nigrani Samitis (Vigilance Committees), comprising mostly women, had been constituted in villages for vigilance to check open defecation, he said.

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