States to get all required funds for Swachh Bharat Mission-Birender Singh



 States to get all required funds for Swachh Bharat Mission-Birender Singh 


The Union Minister for Rural Development and Drinking Water and Sanitation Shri Birender Singh today said that to achieve the goals of Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), funds will not be a constraint. Speaking at the closing ceremony of Rural Sanitation and Water Supply Week at Raipur in Chhattisgarh, he said that under SBM (Grameen) and Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), funds will be allocated to the states as per their demand. He expressed satisfaction that the pace of construction of toilets in rural India has gathered momentum and the States like West Bengal, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Maharashtra have taken the lead in construction of Individual Household Latrines and community toilets. He also informed that many of the States may achieve the target of Open-Defecation Free status in 2017 or 2018, well before the target of 2nd October, 2019. Sikkim and Kerala are now Open Defecation Free, ODF States. 

Shri Singh said that merely achieving the target of toilet construction will defeat the very purpose of swachhta mission and added that more importance should be attached to the sustainability of the programme and change in the mindset. The Minister informed that 8 to 10 percent of the Ministry’s budget will be spent on various campaign strategies in future. Shri Singh also underlined that the participation of the citizen and ownership to the programme is the key to success. 

Shri Singh gave awards to 24 sanitation champions from the state and along with the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Shri Raman Singh. They also declared 110 Gram panchayats and 154 villages of the state as Open Defecation Free (ODF). Shri Raman Singh announced that his state will become ODF by December 2018. 

Rural Sanitation and Water Supply week was inaugurated at Mohali in Punjab on 16th March by Minister of State for Drinking Water and Sanitation, Shri Ram Kripal Yadav. This has become an annual feature after Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had launched the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan on 2nd October 2014 to realise its vision of ‘Clean India’ by October 2, 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

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Forestry Intervention on Ganga to be Carried out in a Time Bound Manner says Uma Bharti 

Detailed Project Report on Forestry Interventions for Ganga Released 

Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Sushri Uma Bharti has said that Forestry intervention on Ganga will be carried out in a time bound manner. Releasing the Detailed Project Report (DPR) on Forestry Intervention for Ganga in New Delhi today alongwith Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Shri Prakash Javadekar, the Minister said from time immemorial the vegetations along the river Ganga had the medicinal power to keep its water clean. Terming them as Brahmdrav, Sushri Bharti said this plantation programme will start from Uttarakhand. The Water Resources Minister was of the opinion the large scale vegetations along the river Ganga will also help in enriching the aqua life of the river. Complimenting the experts of Forest Research Institute (FRI) Dehradun for their contribution in the preparation of voluminous report, the Minister said her Ministry will start implementing the report very soon. 

Terming the Government’s commitment to keep Ganga alive and ridding it of pollution as “complete and final”, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javadekar, said that forests should be set up in the catchment area of the river to maintain the lively relationship between forests and water. He said that trees and plants prevent soil erosion, recharge water and also increase the level of groundwater. The Minister said that one-third of the pollution from industries has been reduced. He emphasised the fact that the release of black liquor and spent discharge into the river has been stopped almost completely, which is a major success. He said that much progress has been achieved on the sustainable sand mining policy. 

Earlier Dr. Savita, Director, Forest Research Institute, Dehradun gave a power point presentation highlighting the major components of the DPR. 

Union Minister for State Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Prof. Sanwar Lal Jat, Secretary Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Shri Ashok Lavasa, Secretary, Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Shri Shashi Sekhar and DG, Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education Dr. Ashwani Kumar also spoke on the occasion. 

A day long workshop was also organised to mark the release of DPR. Senior officials from Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal, environmentalists, scientists, representatives of Eco Task Force, ITBP, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan and Civil Society organizations attended the workshop. 

The DPR has been prepared by FRI after extensive consultations with various stakeholders and incorporating science based methodology. This included use of remote sensing and GIS technologies for spatial analysis and modelling of pre-delineated Ganga riverscape covering 83,946 sq.km out of a much larger Ganga River basin within the country. FRI designed four sets of field data formats to obtain the site based information on proposed forestry plantations in natural, agriculture and urban landscapes along the river course and other conservation interventions. More than 8,000 data sheets were obtained from five states along the river course. The Institute also developed a software to collate, analyze and report generation on potential plantation and treatment models. 

Extensive plantations in natural, agriculture, and urban landscapes besides conservation interventions such as soil and water conservation, riparian wildlife management, wetland management, and supporting activities such as policy and law interventions, concurrent research, monitoring and evaluation, and mass awareness campaigns have been envisioned in the DPR. Altogether, 40 different plantation and treatment models have been selected for implementation by Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, and West Bengal. The project will be implemented over a period of five years by the State Forest Departments of these five states in Phase-I (2016-2021). 

The project envisages active involvement of two battalions of Eco Task Force in the states of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh for raising plantations in difficult terrains. The State Forest Departments in five states are also expected to involve ITBP, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan and Civil Society organizations for various proposed activities including monitoring and awareness campaigns.  

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