THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Seven Gram Panchayats,11 Block Panchayats and two District Panchayats in the state have bagged the 2011 Nirmal Puraskars, taking the ranking of the state to number two in the country, next to Sikkim. The award is being given after assessing the total sanitation activities under a given local body.
With the achievement,959 Gram Panchayats,119 Block Panchayats and eight District Panchayts in the state have found place in the list so far.
Panchayat Minister M K Muneer told mediapersons that the achievement is quite significant as there are only 19 Gram Panchayats,33 Block Panchayats and six District Panchayats remaining to receive the honour and thereby take the state to the top of the list in the country.
“The honour is an impetus to the already launched drive of the government under the Suchitwa Mission for a garbage treatment unit in each home,” Muneer said.
The Gram Panchayats which bagged this year’s award are Vandiperiyar and Munnar in Idukki district,Neendoor in Kottayam, Puthusserry and Kodumba in Palakkad and Pallikkal and Edava in Thiruvananthapuram.
The Block Panchayts are Edapally and Palluruthy (Ernakulam), Idukki (Idukki),Kanhangad, Kasargod, Manjeswaram and Neeleswaram (Kasargod), Lalam and Pampady (Kottayam), Tirur (Malappuram) and Nenmara (Palakkad).
Each Gram Panchayat selected for the award would get Rs 5 lakh each and Block Panchayts would get `20 lakh each,in addition to scroll of honour and memento.
Based on population figures,Kasargod would get Rs 30 lakh and Ernakulam would get Rs 50 lakh as award amount, apart from a scroll of honour and memento. The awards would be presented in New Delhi on March 21. President Pratibha Patil would be present.
Muneer said that the local bodies can use the award amount for garbage management schemes, including purchase of land for it.
Those local bodies selected for the Nirmal honour would be monitored on an annual basis and usually,the track record would be continued.
The Minister said that a record number of 1,039 vacancies of physically handicapped persons have been reported, after the Social Welfare Department launched a drive to clear the backlog in this regard.