Karnal: Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh on Saturday said the Centre had fixed a target to make every Gram Panchayat as "Nirmal Gram Panchayat" in next ten years.
Addressing a gathering at a Panchayati Raj Sammelan here, he hoped Haryana would become the third Nirmal state in next three years.
The Union government would provide all necessary support to the state in this regard, Ramesh said.
At present, Sikkim and Himachal Pradesh were totally Nirmal while Maharashtra and Kerala were performing well in this direction, he said.
A "Nirmal Gram" is an "Open Defecation Free" village where all homes, schools and Anganwadis are having sanitary toilets and there is awareness amongst the community on the importance of making personal and community hygiene and clean environment.
Lauding Haryana government`s approach with regard to the total sanitation campaign, the Minister said he had asked other states to follow the Haryana slogan of "Shauchalya Nahin to Dulhan Nahin".
The Nirmal Bharat Campaign would formally be launched after finalisation of details within next two-three weeks, he said.
Under the proposed programme, the Centre and the state governments would provide monetary assistance for setting up pucca toilets in houses in rural areas and each beneficiary would have to spend only Rs 600 to Rs 700.
The Minister said it would be covered under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act Scheme and the Central and the state governments would provide Rs 5400 and Rs 1000 respectively for this purpose.
On the occasion, Ramesh honoured 330 Gram Panchayats of Haryana for making their village a Nirmal village.
As many as 50 village Panchayats of Kurukshetra, 49 of Ambala, 68 of Yamunanagar, 22 of Sonepat, seven of Rohtak, one of Rewari, 30 of Panipat, 5 of Mewat, 26 of Karnal, 2 of Mahendragarh, 9 of Kaithal, 8 of Jind, 11 of Hisar, 23 of Jhajjar, 3 of Faridabad and 16 of Bhiwani were honoured.