Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman felicitated 10 Cantonment Boards of Central Command on their achievement of acquiring ‘Open Defecation Free (ODF)’ status, in a function organized at Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi (UP), today. Presidents, Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and elected members of the Cantonment Boards were awarded the certificate by the Minister during the event.Smt Sitharaman complimented the Cantonment Boards for their efforts in achieving the ODF target and urged the boards to sustain and further improve the facilities created and drives conducted by them, with more zeal and enthusiasm. She appreciated the efforts of children as Swachhta Doots- the cleanliness ambassadors. She said that this goodwill gesture will make the coming generations emphasize cleanliness in their lives.The Defence Minister said that the Defence Ministry is working on Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in phases. The first phase includes the cleanliness drive of Cantonment Boards and the municipal wards nearby. This phase involves the recycling of wastes as well as segregation of solid and liquid wastes.
Nirmala Sitharaman highlighted that the second phase commences from September 15 to October 02, 2017 where the cleanliness drive will be taken to High Altitudes and the cleaning of glaciers will be taken up. She further added that on the 150th Birth celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi in 2019, the complete comprehensive Swachhta Abhiyan will be concluded. She emphasized that Abhiyan is a starting and it will take us towards the sustainable development.Central Command has 25 cantonments of which 14 Cantonments have been declared ODF. 10 Cantonment Boards felicitated by the Defence Minister include Bareilly, Danapur, Dehradun, Jabalpur, Landour, Lansdowne, Meerut, Mathura, Ranikhet and Varanasi. Present at the occasion were Director General Defence Estates Shri Jojneshwar Sharma and Principal Director Defence Estates, Central Command Smt Deepa Bajwa along with other officers of Indian Defence Estate Service (IDES) and the Army.