Speed Post News Network

New Delhi : Under the Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin (SBM-G), rural Uttarakhand and rural Haryana have declared themselves as the 4th and 5th Open Defecation Free (ODF) states of India. The two on June 22, 2017, joined the league of Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh and Kerala, which were the first three states to be declared ODF.

Nationally, the sanitation coverage has increased from 42% to over 64% in just two and a half years since the launch of SBM, according to a PIB release. Uttarakhand has 13 districts, 95 blocks, 7,256 gram panchayats and 1,5751 villages while Haryana has 21 districts, 124 blocks, and 6,083 gram panchayats – all of which have declared themselves as ODF in formal declarations in Dehradoon and Chandigarh respectively, according to the PIB release.

Speaking at the event in Dehradoon, Union Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation Narendra Singh Tomar said, “On October 2, 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi started the Swachh Bharat Mission. Today, it has become a true people’s movement. People of Uttarakhand and Haryana, the government officials and representatives of other institutions have contributed towards this milestone.”

Commenting on Uttarakhand achieving this milestone, CM, Uttarakhand, Trivendra Singh Rawat, said, “Collaborative community participation has led Uttarakhand to achieve this ODF status. The Prime Minister’s call for a Swachh Bharat has resulted in this special achievement. I would like to laud the role of the gram pradhans in making Uttarakhand ODF.”

Congratulating the newly declared ODF states,  Parameswaran Iyer, Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, said, “ The next step for Swachh Bharat Gramin will be to focus on sustaining this ODF status and systematic solid and liquid waste management in rural India.”

With the total number of ODF states now increasing to 5, more than 2 lakh villages and 147 districts have also been declared ODF across the country.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *