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JK ‘open defecation free’… Really?

Srinagar, Nov 10: Is Jammu and Kashmir ‘open defecation free’ for real?

On papers Jammu and Kashmir is open defection free, but in reality several components of Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) scheme are yet to be implemented.


On October 2 last year, Jammu and Kashmir was declared ‘open defecation free’ after constructing 15.42 lakh toilets under the SBM scheme.

However, authorities have failed to implement several components of centrally sponsored scheme.

Sample this: Galvanizing Organic Bio-Agro Resources Dhan (GOBAR-DHAN), which is component of SBM was launched in February 2018 to make villages open defecation free and improve the lives of villagers by obtaining bio- gas from cattle dung, poultry droppings, crop residue, kitchen waste and other bio degradable waste. 

“This component of Swachh Bharat Mission scheme is yet to be implemented in Jammu and Kashmir. Government has now identified few sites for implementation of GOBAR-DHAN. However, funds are yet to be released by the Centre’s Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation to Jammu and Kashmir,” said an official in the Directorate of Rural Sanitation.

Similarly, another component of the scheme –‘Dry Leaf Composting’ –still awaits implementation.

‘Dry Leaf Composting’ was launched to improve the lives of villagers by obtaining manures from the mixture of dry leaf, agriculture residue, cattle dung and other bio degradable waste.

It was launched last year with an aim of managing rural waste and converting dry leaves and agriculture waste into organic fertilizer. Sources said authorities are making no efforts for its implementation.

“The organic fertilizer produced from the composting of dry leaves could have reduced the use of chemical fertilizers to grow vegetables in kitchen garden, farms and to make terrace garden,” said a source.

Commissioner Secretary, Rural Development Department, Sheetal Nanda said she would seek details from concerned officials to ensure all components of the Swachh Bharat Mission are implemented in Jammu and Kashmir.