Milestone achieved, ANI becomes 4th UT to earn ‘ODF’ tag

Report by: 
ROOPA LALL
Port Blair
4 May 2018

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands (ANI) has kept its promise of making the Union Territory ‘Open Defecation Free’ (ODF) and achieved the milestone on Friday becoming the fourth UT to earn tag after Daman & Diu, Chandigarh and Dadra & Nagar Haveli. The Lt. Governor, A & N Islands, Admiral D K Joshi, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, NM, VSM (Retd.) officially declared A&N Islands as ‘Open Defecation Free’ under Swatch Bharat Mission (Gramin) at a function held at Raj Niwas. He unveiled the ODF Declaration Board in the presence of the Chief Secretary, Mr Anindo Majumdar, DGP, Smt. Nuzhat Hassan, Adhyaksha Zilla Parishad South Andaman, Baby Farida, Secretary RD, Mr Udit Prakash Rai, Ambassador, Swatch Bharath Mission, A&N Islands, Mr Naresh Chander Lal, PRI members and officials from the department of rural development.
Speaking on the occasion, the Lt. Governor congratulated islanders, government agencies, PRI members and all stakeholders for achieving the target much before the deadline of October 2, 2019.  “It’s an honor to be part of this symbolic conclusion of Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin), a major flagship programme launched by Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi and implemented effectively in these islands. Urban areas were declared Open Defecation Free last year, while the target set for rural areas was achieved by 31st of January this year after which necessary official formalities were undertaken as part of the protocol prescribed by the Union Government declaration of open defecation free status,” he said.
Congratulating the Chief Secretary, Adhyaksha of Zilla Parishad, Ambassador of Swachh Bharat Mission, A & N Islands, Secretary, Rural Development, PRI members and islanders for their cooperation and support in achieving the ‘Open Defecation Free’ status for these islands, the Lt. Governor made a fervent appeal to maintain the ODF status in a sustainable manner and keep the surroundings clean & hygienic. Recalling a famous quote by Winston Churchill, the Lt. Governor said that the occasion is not a conclusion but just the beginning. “Government departments, PRI functionaries and citizens should work in tandem to maintain ODF status for these islands. Media, in particular, can play a crucial role in this direction. Besides, intensifying the sensitization campaign about Swatch Bharat Mission, local media houses should name and shame persons found violating Swachhta rules and littering at public places as done in countries like Singapore,” he observed.
The Lt Governor also felicitated the staff of the Rural Development Department namely Mr M.P Raj Mohan, BDO, Diglipur, Mr Rajendra Pal BDO, Ferrargunj, Smt Lalita Tigga, BDO, Prothrapur, Mr Bijoy Kumar Das, EO, Directorate of RD, Mr Sushil Mondal, VLW,GP Humphjrygynj, Mr K.G.Karmakar, VLW, GP Nimbutala/Rangat, Mr N.N Sarkar, VLW, GP,Mayabunder, Mr Bikash Mondal, VLW,GP Govindnagar, Mr K.P Gain, VLW, GP V.K Pur, Mr Rabi Kirtonia, VLW, GP Sitanagar, with Certificate of Appreciation for their painstaking efforts in achieving the ODF status. The Chief Secretary, Mr Anindo Majumdar commended the combined efforts made by all to achieve the ODF status in A&N Islands. “Now, in the next phase we have to concentrate on Solid Waste Management. There are challenges, but we’re confident of achieving the targets set under Solid Waste Management soon”, he said. The Brand Ambassador SBM, A&N Islands, Mr Naresh Chander Lal informed that the school children are well aware about cleanliness and they are working as torch bearers to spread the message of ‘Swatchta’.
Welcoming the gathering, the Secretary RD, Mr Udit Prakash Rai informed that in A&N Islands the number of eligible beneficiaries under SBM were 16735 out of which 14849 households were provided incentive amount of Rs, 12,000 each for construction of IHHL. Through proper motivation, about 1886 persons constructed toilets on their own expense, he informed. The Director RD, Mr Govind Ram, proposed the vote of thanks.