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India: Union Minister for Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, and Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, met in Lucknow today to jointly review the progress of water and sanitation programmes in the state. Senior central government officers, including Secretary, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Mr. ParameswaranIyer and Secretary, Department of Water Resources, UP Singh, were also present during the review. The review was attended by state government ministers and senior state officials as well. All the district collectors of Uttar Pradesh were connected to the meeting via video conference.

Speaking at the review, Mr. Shekhawat congratulated the CM for his firm leadership in turning around the state’s sanitation situation and said that Uttar Pradesh has made phenomenal progress under Swachh Bharat Mission and become ODF in record time. He also requested the CM to complete the verification of all ODF villages in the State on priority.

During the meeting, the detailed progress review of 50 Namami Gange projects in UP, including 50 sewerage treatment facilities was also done. The minister urged the district collectors to work out milestones and complete these projects in mission mode. The state officials assured him of immediate action to expedite the implementation of all ongoing Namami Gange projects, including Jajmau at Kanpur. The next review of the projects was scheduled after 3 months at a Ganga project location.

Mr. Shekhawat also reviewed the drinking water progress in the state and assured the CM that the Union Government is committed to ensuring piped water supply for all.

The Jal Shakti Abhiyan, an intensive campaign on water conservation, has been launched across water-stressed districts countrywide, with the largest number of districts being from Uttar Pradesh. Under the Abhiyan, the Union Minister requested the CM to mobilize district collectors of the water-stressed districts of UP to prioritize water conservation efforts together with the officers from the central government. He added that teams of senior officers from Government of India will work with the local administration in selected water stressed 35 districts and 139 blocks of UP, under the Jal Shakti Abhiyan.

The Chief Minister, Uttar Pradesh expressed his commitment towards sustaining the ODF status of the state. He added that the state will focus on going from ODF to ODF Plus through solid and liquid waste management. He added that his government will endeavor to ensure that by 2024, entire state safely manages biodegradable solid waste, plastic waste, faecal sludge and household wastewater. He also conveyed his full cooperation to the Jal Shakti Abhiyan.

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