New Delhi: Rural Karnataka achieves another milestone in its Swachh Bharat Abhiyan targets; one of the biggest districts of Karnataka – Uttara Kannada has been declared open defecation free. Param Iyer, Secretary Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation congratulated the district and added, “Team @swachhbharat Karnataka has picked up great momentum. Another district declared #OpenDefecationFree. Congratulations to the Uttara Kannada team!” With this new district, the total count of India’s open defecation free districts moves upto 240 now.
A senior official from the district responsible for Swachh Bharat added,
In the last one year more than the construction of toilets, we have focused on bringing behavioural change among people. And, that’s what the success mantra here is.
He further added,
People here are much more aware; they themselves came to us and demanded their right – a toilet. We had also trained people of the district on how they can construct a toilet for themselves. This helped a lot in getting this coveted tag of open defecation free district.
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Karnataka’s rural areas’ performance, from day one the state has shown tremendous progress when it comes to achieving 100 per cent sanitation coverage. From mere 39.8% in 2014, the sanitation coverage moved up to 83.73% in 2017. More than 26 lakh toilets were constructed in 2014-2015; more than 7 lakh toilets in 2015-2016 and around 5 lakh toilets in 2016-2017. In this fiscal year, about 10 lakh toilets have been constructed.
In total, around 32 lakh toilets have been constructed so far. The target for the rest of the state to go open defecation free has been set by the authorities by March next year.