Ranchi: Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das today said the state would be open defecation free (ODF) by 2018. In all 25 blocks, 742 gram Panchayats and 5136 revenue villages have become ODF, he said. And by the end of this month another 35 blocks would become ODF. In all, 12.71 lakh toilets have been constructed, the Chief Minister said.
He said the government, corporate sector, volunteer groups, media and people together would make Jharkhand ODF by 2018. Mr Das said public toilets would be constructed along the road between Ranchi and Bahdragora under the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative of Tata Steel. Similarly, other companies would construct public toilets at different important roads in the state, the Chief Minister said, according to an official release.
“This will help travellers as well as help making the state open defecation free (ODF),” Chief Minister Das said while addressing a ODF Conclave organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). Stating that the state had set up CSR Council, Mr Das said a provision has been made that out of the two per cent CSR funds, one per cent would be spent through the Council. Three priority areas have been underlined under the CSR Council – to make the state ODF, implementing water supply scheme and eradicating malnourishment in the state.
The decision by Prime Minister Narendra Modi of setting up of District Mineral Foundation and 30 per cent of the funds it received to be spent on development of the respective area has speeded up development, Mr Das said. He said Rs 1500 crore that the state received under this head is being spent for water pipeline scheme. Stating that water supply has been increased to 30 per cent from 12 per cent, the Chief Minister said the water scheme would be helpful to keep clean the toilets built to make the state ODF.
Watch: “We are determined to clean up Jharkhand and make it open-defecation free by 2018”, says Raghubar Das, Chief Minister of Jharkhand
Praising a girl for constructing a toilet in Jamshedpur from her pocket money, Mr Das said such small moves would bring change.
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Referring to how Mahatma Gandhi had connected even the last person of the society in the freedom struggle by making them aware and stand up against superstitions and social evils, Mr Das said that the same needs to be done to tackle open defecation.
“It is a matter of stigma. We have taken pledge to remove this stigma,” the Chief Minister said.
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Stating that the state is rich but the people are poor, the Chief Minister said that the government was making efforts to develop basic amenities and infrastructure.