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Rural Uttarakhand Becomes Open Defecation Free

Central Government had set a target of achieving Open Defecation Free status for all the states in India by 2019. Rural Uttarakhand achieved 100 per cent toilet coverage in more than 7,500 villages by constructing 5,84,000 individual toilets in the 13 districts and has announced itself ODF on June 22.

Rural Uttarakhand has been declared open defecation free (ODF) today, achieving its goal two years ahead of the nationwide target. It is the fourth state after Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh to achieve this feat.

Earlier, emphasising on the efforts of the state governments, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that over 75 per cent of villages along the banks of Ganga have been declared ODF under Namami Gange initiative to clean the river. Under the same initiative, 131 villages in Uttarakhand which are situated near the river banks have also been declared ODF.

5,84,000 individual toilets have been constructed in more than 7,500 villages of Uttarakhand, since the launch of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014, making it 100 per cent toilet coverage in 13 districts of the state.

Verification process: The local block officers did the basic verification followed by the district officers. After the villages passed the infrastructure test, the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and state officials conducted a severe hygiene and sanitation test.

The state government organised a programme at ONGC academy, Dehradun on June 22 to celebrate this achievement. Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Trivendra S Rawat, Secretary Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation Param Iyer and Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar were present at the event.

The programme started with an exhibition where various waste management techniques adopted by the state government were showcased.

Secretary Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation Param Iyer, felicitated gram panchayats, block and districts sanitation officials with ODF certificates, lauding them for their efforts to make open defecation free a reality.

Chief Minister Trivendra S Rawat dedicated this success to the people and their active participation to work towards behavioral change towards swachhta.

The focus of the gram panchayats will now shift to ensure proper Solid Waste Management.

Chief Minister Rawat said that Urban Uttarakhand will go ODF by the end of this fiscal year.

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