Punjab to expedite work on Swachh Bharat Mission: Punjab was asked to expedite the work on becoming an open defecation-free (ODF) state in a review meeting of the Centre’s flagship urban development schemes here today. Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri reviewed the progress of the Centre’s flagship schemes — AMRUT, Swachh Bharat Mission, Smart Cities Mission, Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana and Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission — in Punjab, Haryana and Union Territory of Chandigarh. Talking to reporters, Puri said urbanisation posed a formidable challenge. “As per the 2011 Census, 31 per cent of India lived in urban spaces which come at about 337 millions. The kind of urban challenge we have that by 2031, the number of people living in urban areas will be in the order of 600 millions. It will involve urban development and re-development,” said Puri, flanked by Punjab local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu and Haryana local bodies minister Kavita Jain.He said the Centre had fixed a target to construct 62 lakh toilets by October 2019 and out of which, 52 lakh had already been made. “At least one year in advance that is by October 2018, we should have 100 per cent ODF throughout country and we should have all toilets made in urban areas. It will be a real pity if, during 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, we cannot get this objective. But I am sure we will do it,” he said.On Swachh Bharat Mission, it was informed that Punjab had aimed to declare the state ODF by October 2018. “However, so far only 61 Urban Local Bodies out of 164 have been declared as ODF. The state has agreed to expedite,” according to a PIB release. The state has achieved 100 per cent door-to-door collection in 2003 wards out of its 3,043 wards. However, the state is processing only 15 per cent of the waste generated. The state needs to take steps to process all the waste being produced, it further said. Haryana is a certified ODF state and needs to be lauded for this achievement, it further said. “The state has achieved 100 per cent door-to-door collection in 966 wards out of its 1,475 wards. However, the state is processing only three per cent of the waste generated,” the release said.UT Chandigarh is a certified ODF city. It has achieved 100 per cent of the swachh bharat mission target for individual household latrine, it was informed in the meeting. The city has achieved 100 per cent door-to-door collection in all its 26 wards. However, it is lagging in solid waste management with only 30 per cent of the waste generated being processed, the release said. Punjab proposed to provide 4.6 lakh new house water connections under AMRUT – Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation. “It has already provided 1.45 lakh tap connections. Under the Swachh Bharat Mission, 10 contracts worth Rs 335 crore have been awarded and tenders for three projects worth Rs 160 crore have been invited. The state was urged to complete the preparation of DPRs worth Rs 1,708 crore,” the release said.In Haryana, the state has a target of providing 2.74 lakh new tap connections, thereby providing water connections to the entire urban population of Haryana, it said. On Smart Cities Mission, it was informed in the meeting that detailed project report (DPR) of all three cities Amritsar, Jalandhar and Ludhiana in Punjab were under preparation. “Thus 11 projects worth Rs 3,385 crore in Amritsar, 19 projects worth Rs 1,899 crore in Jalandhar and 19 projects worth Rs 1,898 crore are at the DPR stage,” it said. “Two smart cities have been selected in Haryana — Karnal and Faridabad. In both the cities, 60 projects worth Rs 2,342 crore have been approved and are at the DPR stage. The projects include rejuvenation of Badhkal lake and Barahi Talab in Faridabad, These when implemented will improve environment in these cities and also provide more leisure facilities,” it said.In Chandigarh, 70 projects worth Rs 6,214 crore have been approved and central assistance amounting to Rs 196 crore released for the city. Punjab was also told to fast-track proposals under Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana. “The state has submitted proposals to cover 12 per cent of its demand so far. It is required to fast-track proposals for about 1.25 to 1.5 lakh houses to saturate 50 per cent of its demand by 2017-18. Further, only one proposal for 1,025 houses has been received under in-situ slum rehabilitation component despite huge potential from 2.9 lakh slum households (Census 2011),” it said. Punjab was also told to improve solid waste processing in Amritsar which has been declared as heritage city.
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