34 Himachal panchayats among NGP winners



MANDI: Thirty-four panchayats in Himachal Pradesh have been declared clean in terms of sanitation facilities, and would be honoured by the President of India next year with Nirmal Gram Puraskars. Mandi leads the state with 27 panchayats from the district finding a place on the district. Each panchayat would get Rs 2 to 4 lakh as award money according to their population. Kilinng panchayat in Mandi has taken the crown for being the most sanitised panchayat in Himachal. Apart from Mandi district, two panchayats from Solan and Kullu each, and one each from Shimla, Kinnaur and Lahaul Spiti are also among the award-winning panchayats.

The state government also has plans to reward these panchayats according to their performance. The government would give Rs 10 lakh to the panchayat that tops the state, Rs 3 lakh for district-level winner and Rs 1 lakh for block-level winner. The first lot of Nirmal Gram Puraskar were given last year.

Nirmal Gram Puraskar (NGP), which was instituted in October 2003 under Total Sanitation Campaign, is an incentive scheme in recognition of the role played by Panchayati Raj Institutions, organisations and individuals in promotion of rural sanitation. As per this scheme, awards are given to Panchayati Raj Institutions at various levels, which attain full sanitation coverage in households, schools, Anganwadis with general cleanliness and become open defecation free. The whole concept of NGP is to reward those districts, blocks, and GPs, which have achieved full sanitation coverage. The cash incentive for Panchayati Raj Institutions can be utilised for improving and maintaining sanitation facilities in their respective areas with more focus on solid and liquid waste disposal and maintenance of the sanitation standard.

While selecting the PRIs for NGP, following items are considered for scrutiny:

All households should have access to toilets with full use and there is no place for open defecation in the respective PRI.

All schools should have sanitation facilities, which are also put to use. All co-educational schools must have separate toilets for boys and girls.

All Anganwadi should have access to sanitation facilities. General cleanliness in the village.

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