• PM Narendra Modi reviewed progress of UP, Bihar, Odisha, Jammu and Kashmir
  • PM Modi urged to make Swachh Bharat mission a mass movement
  • Sanitation coverage in India has increased from 38.70% to 78.98% since 2014

New Delhi: Determined towards turning the dream of a Swachh Bharat into a reality, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is walking an extra mile. From launching Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014, praising the swachh warriors during Mann Ki Baat (monthly radio talks), urging governors to be the agents of change and lead the cause of cleanliness to introducing Swachh Survekshan, Prime Minister Modi is initiating several steps to fasten the dream of Swachh Bharat. In the same direction, on Tuesday, Prime Minister Modi interacted with the collectors of four states i.e., Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha and Jammu and Kashmir and reviewed the progress in terms of sanitation and open defecation free (ODF) target.

In a meeting with the collectors, the Prime Minister urged the states to share their views and experiences on the work they have done so far towards Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and helping their state attain ODF status. Assisting states achieve their ODF target, the Prime Minister suggested them to decentralise the process and form teams at the district level to monitor progress.

In addition to this, the Prime Minister also encouraged the collectors to take a lesson or two from other states who are doing well in terms of sanitation and create a clean and green India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Every state is undertaking unique efforts towards achieving ODF targets. We can learn from these best practices and give strength to the mass movement of creating a Swachh Bharat.”

Encouraging the states to fulfill Mahatma Gandhi’s dream of Clean India by his 150th anniversary which will fall on October 2, 2019, the Prime Minister said the Clean India Mission should be turned into a mass movement. He further added that students can be made a part of it and play a key role in creating awareness.

Current States Of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha and Jammu and Kashmir

According to a study done by Centre for Science and Environment, these four states together account for 60 per cent of people who opt to defecate in open. To declare India free from the practice of open defecation, it is pivotal for these four states to attain the ODF title. But the fact is that so far they have performed poorly.

Both rural and urban Bihar lags in terms of sanitation. While a total of 34,20,026 household toilets have been built in rural Bihar, mere 93,318 toilets have been constructed in urban Bihar. Jammu and Kashmir has also not fared well. In rural Jammu and Kashmir, individual household toilets constructed since 2014 has increased from 8,493 to 4,14,391 and in urban Jammu and Kashmir mere 14,747 toilets have been constructed.

Odisha, an eastern Indian state also comes under the list of worst performers. Only 31,92,084 household toilets have been constructed in rural areas and 45,714 in urban areas. Last but not the least, while Uttar Pradesh’s urban areas have only 2,98,924 individual household toilets, rural areas 63,26,356.

An Overview Of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan So Far

Since the launch of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014, total sanitation coverage in India has reached an all time high of 78.98% as compared to mere 38.70% in 2014. As per the data available on government portal, as on date, 11 states/Union Territories, 3,23,560 villages, 314 districts, and 4,464 villages in Namami Gange have been declared free form the old age practice of open defecation.

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