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JK officials exaggerate figures of Swachh Bharat Mission-Grameen; claim grand success
8/26/2018 11:42:13 PM
Jehangir Rashid

Early Times Report

SRINAGAR, Aug 26: A national flagship programme that has revolutionized the sanitation scenario across the country has virtually been blown out of proportions by the officials in the state and the figures point out towards the same.
Swachh Bharat Mission-Grameen (SBM-G) has turned out to be hit among the rural populace of India. However, when it comes to Jammu & Kashmir the concerned officials are painting a rosy picture claiming great success in this regard.
According to the figures dished out by the concerned department more than 10 lakh toilets have been constructed in the state. The figure seems to be a fair one and very few people doubt about the same. However, doubts have crept after the department claimed that more than three lakh toilets have been constructed since April 1, 2018 to August 25, 2018.
Sources while quoting the figures of the department said that 10, 82,963 toilets have been constructed in Jammu & Kashmir ever since the launch of the SBM-G on October 2, 2014. The scheme was launched on the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi with Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowing to make India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2, 2019.
"When calculated it means that around 50,000 toilets have been constructed on an average in the 22 districts of the state during the four years of the SBM-G programme. But the problem is that the department has claimed that 3, 28,561 toilets have been constructed during the first four and half months of financial year 2018-19," said sources.
Sources said the figures quoted for the period 1-4-2018 to 25-8-2018 are unexpected, exaggerated and unbelievable. They said that it means that around 30 percent progress with regards to success of SBM-G has been achieved during the four and half months of the present financial year.
"Since the concerned department was reprimanded by the people at helm at national level they resorted to exaggeration of figures. The same was done in order to show that significant achievement with respect to implementation of SBM-G has taken place. Hopefully the concerned ministry at the national level would take the people in state to task so that the real picture emerges," said sources.
Sources said that the field staff of Rural Development Department (RDD) has been entrusted with 'responsibility' of helping the department by forwarding inaccurate figures with respect to construction of individual household latrines in their concerned blocks spread across the 22 districts of Jammu & Kashmir.
"A mobile application developed to update the figures with regards to SBM-G is being widely misused by the line staff of the department and it is there the roots of exaggeration lie. It is important that a physical audit is carried out by an independent agency or by the officials of Union Ministry of Rural Development Department," said sources.
It would be in place to mention here that RDD of Jammu & Kashmir has claimed that 12 districts are ODF, but the same has not been authenticated so far. The department claimed that 5,885 villages are ODF and 3,249 gram panchayats have been absolved of open defecation. It has said that 74.67 percent increase has taken place in house-holds with latrines.
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