Swachh Bharat Mission Current Affairs

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Somnath Temple, Charminar among new places chosen for Swachh iconic places initiative

The government has announced the names of ten new Iconic places under the Phase II of Swachh Iconic Places initiative. Swachh Iconic Places (SIP) is an initiative of Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation under Swachh Bharat Mission.

The ten new iconic places that will be undertaken in Phase II of Swachh Iconic Places initiative are: Gangotri, Yamunotri. Mahakaleshwar Temple (Ujjain), Char Minar (Hyderabad), Church and Convent of St. Francis of Assissi (Goa), Adi Shankaracharya’s abode Kaladi in Ernakulam, Gomateshwar in Shravanbelgola, Baijnath Dham (Devghar), Gaya Tirth (Bihar) and Somnath temple in Gujarat.

The ten Iconic places that are already under implementation in Phase I are: Ajmer Sharif Dargah, CST Mumbai, Golden Temple (Amritsar), Kamakhya Temple (Assam), Maikarnika Ghat (Varanasi),  Meenakshi Temple (Madurai) Shri Mata Vaishno Devi (Katra, J&K),  Shree Jagannath Temple (Puri), The Taj Mahal (Agra), Tirupati Temple (Tirumala).

The aim of this initiative is to make these places intensely clean and transform them as model ‘Swachh Tourist Destinations’, that will enhance the experience of visitors from India and abroad.

Background

Under the Swachh Bharat Mission, a special clean-up initiative will be carried out on 100 iconic heritage, spiritual and cultural places in the country. The Swachh Bharat Mission was launched on 2 October 2014 to make India clean and open defecation free by 2019 to mark Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary. The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation will be the coordinating Ministry for this initiative, in association with the Ministry of Urban Development, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Tourism and the concerned State governments. So far, under Swachh Bharat Mission, the sanitation coverage has increased to 64% with 1.92 lakh villages becoming Open Defecation Free (ODF).

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Government launches Swachh Swasth Sarvatra initiative

Union Government launched Swachh Swasth Sarvatra initiative to strengthen health centres in open defecation-free (ODF) blocks.

The objective of this initiative is to strengthen community health centres in 708 ODF blocks across the country to enable them to achieve higher levels of cleanliness and hygiene.

Key Facts
  • The Swachh Swasth Sarvatra is a part of the Union Government’s flagship Swachh Bharat Mission and is focused on the twin objectives of constructing toilets and enabling behavioural change.
  • It is joint initiative of Ministry of Health and Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation to achieve better health outcomes through improved sanitation and increase awareness on healthy lifestyles.
  • Its objective is to build on and leverage achievements of two complementary programmes – Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) and Kayakalp.
  • Under it, financial assistance of 10 lakh rupees will be given to the community health centres so that they can be strengthened to meet the standards of sanitation, hygiene and infection control.

Along with this, Union Health Minister J P Nadda and Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar also jointly launched a booklet- Healthy Children Healthy India. The booklet contains tips on leading a healthy life for children.

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Okha-Kanalus, Porbandar-Wansjaliya sections of Gujarat become Green Train Corridors

The Union Ministry of Railways has declared the Okha-Kanalus and the Porbandar-Wansjaliya railway sections of Gujarat as Green Train Corridors.

All trains passing on these 175-km long lines (141-km-long Okha-Kanalus route and the 34-km-long Porbandar-Wansjaliya route) are now equipped with bio-toilets.

On these routes, about 29 trains consisting of nearly 700 coaches have been equipped with bio-toilets to prevent open discharge free zone on tracks as part of the Swachh Bharat Mission.

What are Green Train Corridors?

  • Green Train Corridors are sections of the railways which will be free of human waste discharge on the tracks. Trains running on these corridors will be equipped with bio-toilets.
  • Thus, it will completely stop discharge of human waste from trains onto the ground which in turn would help in improving cleanliness and hygiene.
  • The 114-km long Rameswaram-Manamadurai section of Tamil Nadu was made the India’s first Green Rail Corridor in July 2016

Background

The Union Ministry of Railways has taken up a mammoth task of equipping human discharge free bio-toilets in all its coaches by 2021-22 in order to contribute to mission ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’. It aims at completely stopping discharge of human waste from trains onto the ground in order improving cleanliness and hygiene

What are Biotoilets?

  • The environment-friendly bio-toilets for passenger coaches were developed jointly by Indian Railways and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • In the bio-toilet fitted coaches, human waste is collected in biodigester tanks below the toilets and is decomposed by a consortium of anaerobic bacteria.
  • By the process of hydrolysis, acetogenesis, acidogenesis and methanogenesis, the anaerobic bacteria converts human faecal matter into water and small amount of gases (including methane).

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