New Delhi: India’s biggest cleanliness drive – Swachh Bharat Mission has triggered a nationwide flurry of activity to improve sanitation and cleanliness in the country, the ambitious aim of the mega campaign is to achieve 100% open defecation free status by 2019. Till now, more than four crore toilets have been built, five states, around four lakh villages and 203 districts have gained the title of Open defecation free (ODF). On October 2, which is also marked as Rashtriya Swachhta Diwas, this year it is also Swachh Bharat Abhiyan campaign’s third anniversary, the sanitation coverage in the country will hit another milestone. The day will mark end to another big initiative leading upto October 2 – Swachhata Hi Seva which was initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a bid to boost Swachh Bharat mission’s effort across the country and celebrate Gandhi Jayanti as Clean Gandhi Jayanti.
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It is expected that on October 2, many states, cities, villages, districts and blocks will achieve the mammoth task of eliminating open defecation and take India closer to the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’s goal of an ODF India by October 2, 2019.
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Here are the regions that will go open defecation free this Rashtriya Swachhta Diwas:
1. Gujarat: The state declared Porbandar, the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi and all the cities and towns Open Defection Free (ODF) last year on October 2. This year, the state declared all its rural areas free from open defecation. The sanitation coverage today in the state has already gone up to 100 per cent from 55.95 per cent in 2014. As of today, the state has built over 50 lakh toilets, declaring all the 33 districts open defecation free.
2. Kerala: The state which has majority of its population residing in rural areas became the third open defecation free state in 2016. This year on October 2, the state aims to declare even its urban parts ODF, as of September 26, the state has constructed 11,000 toilets in its urban areas and has declared 20 cities ODF. Apart from declaring its urban parts ODF, the state will also initiate a target to go 100% Waste Free State.
3. Haryana: On October 2, Urban areas of the state will join its rural counterparts by declaring themselves free from open defecation. The rural areas of the state attained the title of open defecation on June 22, this year. Talking about the urban areas, out of the total of 80 Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) 14 have already undergone a third party verification by the Quality Council Of India (QCI) and have been declared ODF. While 34 self-declared ULBs are awaiting a confirmation from the QCI, 32 ULBs are in their first party verification, an official from Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM-U) has confirmed the news to NDTV. ULBs including Thanesar, Sirsa, Panipat, Ratia, Fatehbad, Ladwa and Karnal have attained the ODF mark.
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Apart from these major states, it is anticipated Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh will hit the ODF mark by declaring its urban areas free from the practice of open defecation.
Telangana’s deadline to make its 73 cities ODF has been set by K.T. Rama Rao, Minister of Municipal Administration and Urban Development, while Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh’s urban areas deadline has been set by the Urban Development Secretary Durga Shanker Mishra.
The major districts that will hit the ODF target are Karnataka’s Koppal district which has recently achieved the record of constructing 20,000 toilets in 200 hours in order to meet the deadline, Dharwad of the same state and Guntur from Andhra Pradesh.
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From States To Union Territories
Coming to the Union Territories of India, Puducherry too will attain the status of open defecation free on that day. Last year, during NDTV Banega Swachh India Cleanathon, V Narayanasamy, Chief Minister of Puducherry confirmed Puducherry’s deadline. Till date, one of the four districts of the Union Territory – Mahe has attained 100% sanitation coverage and has got the tag of ODF.
Puducherry is not alone, New Delhi’s two local civic bodies – South and East will too join the open defecation free chain on October 2, 2017. The commissioners of both the civic bodies pledged this in the recent meeting chaired by Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal.
If these regions are successful in meeting the open defecation target by October 2, 2017 then India’s sanitation coverage which is at 67.93 per cent today will hit a major milestone.