Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, Raksha Mantri felicitated 10 Cantonment Boards of Central Command on their achievement of acquiring 'Open Defecation Free (ODF)' status, in a function organized on September 14, 2017 at Swatantra Hall, Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi (UP). The Presidents, Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and elected members of the Cantonment Boards were awarded the certificate by the Raksha Mantri during the event.
The Raksha Mantri complimented the Cantonment Boards for their efforts in achieving the ODF target and urged the boards to sustain and further improve the facilities created and drives conducted by them, with more zeal and enthusiasm. She appreciated the efforts of children as Swachhta Doots- the cleanliness ambassadors. With this initiative the coming generations will emphasize cleanliness in their lives.
Smt. Sitharaman said that Defence Ministry is working on Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in phases. The first phase includes the cleanliness drive of Cantonment Boards and the municipal wards nearby. This phase involves the recycling of wastes as well as segregation of solid and liquid wastes.
The Raksha Mantri highlighted that in the Second Phase from September 15 to October 2, 2017 the cleanliness drive will be taken to High Altitudes and the cleaning of glaciers will be taken up. She further added that on the 150th Birth celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi in 2019, the complete comprehensive Swachhta Abhiyan will be concluded. She emphasized that the Abhiyan is a starting and it will take us towards sustainable development.
Central Command has 25 cantonments of which 14 Cantonments have been declared 'Open Defecation Free'. The 10 Cantonments Boards felicitated by Raksha Mantri at Varanasi includes those of Bareilly, Danapur, Dehradun, Jabalpur, Landour, Lansdowne, Meerut, Mathura, Ranikhet and Varanasi.
Present at the occasion were Shri Jojneshwar Sharma, Director General, Defence Estates and Mrs Deepa Bajwa, Principal Director Defence Estates, Central Command along with other officers of Indian Defence Estate Service (IDES) and Army.