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Old Posted Sep 14, 2009, 3:24 PM
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Mangalore Sept 12: Dakshina Kannada is about to get the “Nirmal Gram Puraskar” under the Centrally-sponsored Total Sanitation Campaign programme. To give a fillip to the campaign, the Union Government initiated an incentive scheme “Nirmal Gram Puraskar” for the fully sanitised and open defecation-free gram panchayats, blocks, and districts.

The Dakshina Kannada district is awaiting the visit of a Central team to some of the 23 gram panchayats, which are yet to be certified for having met the guidelines of the programme. The visit is expected anytime after September 15, a meeting to review the progress of development programmes held at the zilla panchayat office here on Friday was told. The Central team will visit 30 per cent of the villages, which are seeking the “Nirmal Gram” tag.

The puraskar aims at recognising the efforts of the panchayat raj and other institutions in achieving total sanitation in their areas of operation. If a panchayat with a population of less than 5,000 qualifies for the award, it gets Rs. 2 lakh and those with population between 5,000 and 10,000 get Rs. 4 lakh. If all gram panchayats under a taluk qualify for the award, such a taluk panchayat will get an incentive of Rs. 20 lakh and the district will get Rs. 50 lakh for such an achievement.

Chief Planning Officer of the zilla pancayat T.J. Takath Rao said that only 23 of the 203 gram panchayats were yet to be certified under the programme. All other gram panchayats had attained this status already, he said.

If the Central team approves the efforts made by the zilla panchayat, the district will attract nationwide, and even international, attention. Mr. Rao said that he hoped that teams from different parts of the country would visit the district to study how it had ensured total sanitation.

Mr. Rao said that the committees, constituted at the village level to supervise cleanliness and water supply, should ensure that all the villages were strictly adhering to the guidelines on a continuous basis. “It will be a matter of pride for Dakshina Kannada to be declared a totally clean district,” he said.
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