23 May 2016 Current Affairs: The Gujarat Government on 22 May 2016 said that as many as 6,000 villages in the State have become Open Defecation Free (ODF).
State Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Jayanti Kavadia claimed at a function here, all 18,000 villages in the state would become ODF much before 2019, a target set by Centre government under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
The Central government wants each State to achieve 100 per cent target by 2019, the year when the nation will celebrate 125th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. At this pace, I strongly believe that Gujarat would achieve that target much before 2019.
Ms. Patel also launched the ‘Smart Village’ initiative of the State government under which, 300 villages will be selected in the first phase.Under the scheme, village panchayats need to submit an application along with a vision document having road map of converting their village into a ‘smart village’
A high-level committee would select 300 villages from all the applications. After providing them grants for three years, ‘smart village’ award will be conferred after detailed evaluation, as the village needs to meet several benchmarks, such as 100 per cent ODF, 100 per cent vaccination, wi-fi facility, zero per cent drop out ratio, door-to-door waste collection, etc, the chief minister .At the programme, nearly 3,000 sarpanchs of the 6,000 villages were felicitated.