Pudukottai, Jan 4: As many as 112 village panchayats in this district have been recommended for the 'Nirmal Gram Puraskar' award for 2007-08.
According to official sources here, a maximum of 16 village panchayats have been selected in Pudukottai block, 14 in Kunnandarkovil, 13 in Tiruvarankulam, nine each in Tirumayam and Aranthangi unions, eight in Ponnamaravathy, seven each in Karambakudi and Gandarvakottai, six each in Arimalam, Viralimalai, Annavasal and Manamelkudi, and five in Avudaiyarkovil union.
The sources said the award, instituted by the Union Ministry of Rural Development to encourage local bodies to implement sanitation schemes in villages, carried a purse and a citation. The cash award was in proportion to the strength of population.
A Central team would inspect the panchayats for selection of eligible local bodies for the award, the sources added.
In their bid to bag the award, the village panchayat presidents have been carrying out a campaign about the importance of sanitation. Banks of water bodies or isolated sites, hitherto used for open defecation, have been cleaned and hoardings put up, explaining the importance of hygiene. They have formed 'sanitary corps' to create awareness among the masses about the ill-effects of open defecation, the sources added.