- Of the 20 districts, 17 districts are 80% ODF
- Focus will be on converting defunct toilets into functional latrines
- Special Preraks have been deployed to monitor ODF progress in 8 districts
New Delhi: With Arunachal Pradesh achieving 87 per cent toilet coverage, Parameswaran Iyer, Secretary of the Drinking Water and Sanitation said that the state could turn open defecation free (ODF) by end of this year. On July 21, Mr Iyer called on Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu and congratulated him for successfully implementing Swachh Bharat Mission in the state and hinted that after Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Rural Haryana and Rural Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh could be the sixth state to completely eliminate open defecation from the state.
The Chief Minister attributed the splurge in percentage of toilet coverage to deputy commissioners of various districts, out of a total of 20 districts, 17 districts have achieved ODF status by more than 80 per cent. At present, eight districts have ‘Preraks’ or officials appointed to monitor the progress of ODF status. The preraks give reports to deputy commissioners on a daily basis. To speed up the ODF process, Mr Iyer also assured that more such Preraks under the Swachh Bharat Mission will be appointed in rest of the districts
Emphasising on the importance of Information, Education and Communication (IEC), Chief Minister Khandu said aspects of IEC can be used in bringing about a behavourial change towards toilet usage and urged the Ministry of Drinking Water And Sanitation to provide technical and management support for the same.
Dispersion of ‘enhanced’ funds has certainly been a major contributor towards toilet construction said Bamang Felix, Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) and Water Supply Minister. Under the Chief Minister’s Swachh Mission, the state government has increased funds for Individual House Hold Latrine (IHHL) from Rs 12,000 to Rs 20,000 per unit. Impressed by the efforts of PHED department, Mr Iyer further added that it will give more funds for toilet construction beyond the earmarked allocation if the department performs well.
The chief minister also recommended construction of twin pit technology toilets, as it is cost effective and environment friendly. Mr Iyer assured that a meeting will be held in next two weeks with state ministers and requested the Chief Minister to convert the insanitary and defunct toilets into functional latrines through CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) funding.