Eight Cantonment Boards out of 13 under Western Command have received Open Defecation Free (ODF) certificates, issued by the Quality Council of India, from the Defence Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman during a felicitation ceremony organised at Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh, today. Smt Sitharaman who was the Chief Guest, presented ODF certificates to the members of the Cantonment Boards including their Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and President Cantonment Boards (PCBs). The eight Cantonment Boards are Kasauli, Dagshai, Subathu, Jutogh, Dalhousie, Jalandhar, Amritsar and Ferozepur.
During her speech, the Defence Minister congratulated Defence Estates Department for achieving ODF in eight cantonments. She also expressed her satisfaction that all the Cantonment Boards shall be ODF by December 15, 2017 as per the deadline and promise.
Smt Nirmala Sitharaman also said, she will ensure that the borders are secured. She reiterated that the needs of each and every Jawan & their families are catered to. An amount of Rs 15 crore was announced by her towards making a multi-level parking at Kasauli bus-stand. This was a long felt requirement and shall fetch positive result in Swachh Bharat Abhiyan also.
The ceremony was attended by the Member of Parliament Shri Virender Kashyap, Director General Defence Estates Shri Jojneshwar Sharma, GOC-in-C Western Command Lt Gen Surinder Singh, Principal Director Defence Estate Shri SC Kaushik, Directors of Defence Estates, Western Command and other officials of Indian Defence Estates Service.
The objectives of Swachh Bharat are to reduce or eliminate open defecation through the construction of individual, cluster and community toilets. The government is aiming to achieve an ODF India by October 02, 2019, to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.