SRINAGAR: Four months after Jammu and Kashmir government declared Srinagar ‘open defecation free’, a government of India survey has ranked the summer capital at 241 in its list of sanitised cities.
In September, Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, Abdul Haq Khan, declared Srinagar, Leh, and Kargil as ‘open defecation free’ districts, after the deputy commissioners concerned had presented declaration certificates to the minister.
The minister had congratulated people and said that they along with officials worked “tirelessly” to achieve the goal of making these districts ‘open defection free’.
Union Ministry of Urban Development, in its recent survey ‘Swachh Survekshan – 2017’, has given Srinagar 241 sanitation ranking. Srinagar was ranked at 152nd position in 2015, sliding lower over the years.
Leh is the only place in J&K figuring among the 100 cleanest cities in India.
The south Kashmir’s Anantnag district has been given 197 ranking.
Every year, cities and towns across India are awarded with sanitation rankings.
Indore and Bhopal of Madhya Pradesh have topped the list of cleanest cities in India.
An official of the Housing and Urban Development Department said that state performed “poorly” in implementing the sanitation scheme in the last several years in the state.
“All districts of the valley including Srinagar could not achieve their targets due to delay in releasing of funds and situation has been not conducive to do sanitation works,” the official said.
Abdul Haq Khan said that government announced Srinagar ‘open defection free’ based on reports of officials.
“The sanitation problem is in our state. Government is taking measures to ensure improvement in the sanitation,” he said.
Commissioner Srinagar Municipal Corporation, Riyaz Ahmad Wani, said that a “massive” sanitation drive has been launched.
“You will see a huge improvement in sanitation in the coming months,” he added.
Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has also found J&K one among the worst performing states in India in implementation of the Swachh Bharat Mission in the last three years.
As per the figures of the Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, J&K’s cumulative performance under individual household latrine (IHHL) in rural areas was 23.01 and 27.31 percent during 2014-2015 and 2015-2016, respectively.
During 2016-2017, the J&K cumulative performance was around 33 percent, ahead of only one state and union territory, Bihar and Daman and Diu.
In the ongoing fiscal, J&K’s cumulative performance has been measured at 37 percent only ahead of Bihar.
Under open defecation free (ODF), J&K performance was measured at 1.58 percent in 2016-2017.
In 2017, it was around 6 per cent, ahead of Tripora and Goa, and union territories, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and Puducherry.
Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin was to make India “open defecation free” and to improve the level of cleanliness through solid and liquid waste management activities by 2019.