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Special Article 42

Swachhta Pakhwada Update
Cantonment Boards across the country observe Swachhta Campaign

Anand Saurabh

Responding to the Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi's clarion call to the people of India to realise Mahatma Gandhi's dream of "Swachh Bharat" - Clean India by October 2, 2019; the cantonments boards across the country under the aegis of Directorate General Defence Estates (DGDE) observed Swachh Bharat Campaign from the 1st December to 15th December last month. Addressing a press conference in New Delhi recently on the successful conclusion of Swachhta Pakhwada in the cantonments, Defence Minister Mr Manohar Parrikar lauded the efforts of DGDE in translating the concept of Swachh Bharat campaign into reality. The Minister said during the pakhwada, DGDE has managed to dispose of nearly 10,800 MT of garbage through Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) from their cantonments, which is itself an achievement.

 On this occasion, the Minister also released a booklet on the 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in cantonments' during the pakhwada. In his welcome address, Additional Director General, DGDE Mr. P Daniel gave a presentation on the activities of its 62 notified cantonments in the successful implementation of the Swachhta Pakhwada, which was observed from 01 to 15 December 2016 all over India. He said cantonment boards are now trying to introduce Solid Waste Management System in their areas on the lines of the system being operated in Goa. The boards have also introduced modern bio-digester toilets developed by DRDO and all efforts are on to declare all cantonments as 'Open Defecation Free' as per guidelines of the Ministry of Urban Development.

Shri Daniel further said that after checking, it was confirmed that no insanitary latrines were found in any cantonment and 171 toilets were attended to during the pakhwada. He also mentioned that approximately 762 kms of drains and sewers were cleaned, intensive cleaning of roads and trimming of roadside trees and management of trenching ground were executed during the exercise. 

 To create more awareness about the Swachhta campaign, DGDE has now decided that such activities will be carried out periodically by cantonment boards under the motto 'Swachh Chhavni Swasth Chhavni', to sustain the momentum of the Swachh Bharat Campaign. The message of the campaign will also be spread through a Mini Marathon and a drawing/painting competition, which will be organised by all cantonments on 15 and 22 January 2017 as part of the Republic Day celebrations, he added.  The function was attended by Minister of State for Defence Dr. Subhash Bhamre, Secretary (Defence Production) Shri AK Gupta, Secretary (Ex-Servicemen Welfare) Shri Prabhu Dayal Meena, Director General Defence Estates Shri Jojneswar Sharma and Addl Secretary (MoD) Shri JRK Rao.