Second Review of Swachh Iconic Places held at Katra

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Jammu, April 25: The second review meeting of the Swachh Iconic Places Scheme of Government of India was held at Kakryal here today. Governor N.N. Vohra; Sh. Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister for Panchayati Raj, Rural Development and Drinking Water and Sanitation; Dr. Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State, PMO; Sh. Ajay Nanda, Minister of State for Finance and Planning, J&K; Sh. Parameswaran Iyer, Secretary, Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation; Sh. Hirdesh Kumar, Secretary, Housing and Urban Development Department; Sh. Akshay Kumar Rout, OSD, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Sh. Alok Tiwari, Advisor Railway Board; Sh. Ajeet Kumar Sahu, Chief Executive Officer, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board; a delegation of Indian Oil Corporation Limited, PSU Partner of the Scheme, led by Sh. Subimal Mondal, ED, HR & CSR, were present in the meeting.


Under the Swachh Iconic Places Scheme, in the first phase Katra Vaishno Devi has been selected as one among the 10 Iconic Places identified in the country for its planned infrastructure development and sanitation.

Welcoming Sh. Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister for Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Drinking Water and Sanitation; and all the participants, Governor underscored the crucial need for time bound implementation of all the works identified under various schemes so that the civic and infrastructural amenities are developed on modern lines and the highest standards of sanitation and cleanliness are maintained in Katra, the fast expanding base town of pilgrimage to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi. He said that millions of pilgrims visit Katra every year and this number is bound to substantially increase in the coming time. Keeping this in view all the arrangements, particularly augmentation of water supply and power supply, and ensuring sanitation and cleanliness shall need to be accomplished by synergising resources and expertise in a well planned and coordinated manner by all the stakeholders.

To ensure cleanliness in a town with high footfalls such as Katra, Governor emphasised the importance of ensuring systematic collection and disposal of garbage with the help of latest technological interventions.

Governor observed that J&K is working on various schemes for ensuring cleanliness and sanitation in its public and private places. He stressed the importance of ensuring cleanliness in public places like Railway Stations, Bus Stands, Hospitals, offices etc and establishing a chain of well run public toilets along the length and breadth of the State, particularly along the National Highway from Lakhanpur onwards. He complimented Mr. Ravinder Kumar, Deputy Commissioner, Reasi and his team from the Rural Development Department, who received a trophy from Sh. Jitendra Kumar Singh, Union Minister of State, for making the Reasi Block Open Defecation Free (ODF) and hoped that very soon the entire State J&K will become an ODF State.

Governor thanked Sh. Tomar for his strong support and invited him to visit Srinagar in the summer to review Rural Development Schemes and advise regarding the establishment of Panchayati Raj Institutions in J&K, elections for which are planned to be conducted shortly.

Sh. Tomar, Dr. Singh and Sh. Nanda, in their addresses, highlighted the objectives of Swachh Iconic Places Scheme of Government of India and various other schemes launched by the Government for ensuring cleanliness and sanitation in the country.

Sh. Parameswaran Iyer, Secretary Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, gave details of the various initiatives being taken for development of 10 places taken up under Swachh Iconic Places Scheme. He said that implementation of the scheme is reviewed on quarterly basis.

Earlier, in his welcome address, Sh. Hirdesh Kumar Singh, Secretary Housing and Urban Development Department informed that the required action has been initiated for implementation of all components of the development of Katra, Vaishno Devi under the Swachh Iconic Places Scheme.

Earlier Governor in presence of Sh. Tomar, Dr. Singh and officers from the Central Government, inaugurated an exhibition at the Sanjeevani Guest House of the Shri MataVaishno Devi Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, Kakryal. This photo exhibition was regarding facilities put up jointly by Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board and Housing and Urban Development Department for ensuring high standards of cleanliness and sanitation along the track to the Holy Cave, Shrine area and the Katra town.