New Delhi: Mandi in Himachal Pradesh has earned the tag of being the cleanest district in the hilly areas of rural India, whereas Sindhudurg in Maharashtra has been named the cleanest among districts in plains, according to a report released by Drinking Water and Sanitation Minister Narendra Singh Tomar.
A total of 22 hill districts and 53 plain areas were assessed under the Gramin Swachh Survekshan launched in May this year. Mandi was judged as the cleanest district in 'Hills' category and Sindhudurg cleanest in the 'Plains' category.
Besides, the districts of Shimla (Himachal Pradesh), Nadia (West Bengal) and Satara (Maharashtra) feature at the top of the index.
The top 10 cleanest districts in plains as per the Quality Council of India (QCI) survey, whose findings were released by Union Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar here, are Satara, Kolhapur, Ratnagiri and Thane in Maharashtra; Nadia, Midnapur East and Hoogly in West Bengal; Udupi in Karnataka and Churu in Rajasthan.
From the hilly regions, Shimla, Hamirpur, Kullu and Chamba in Himachal Pradesh; West Sikkim, East Sikkim, South Sikkim and North Sikkim in Sikkim and Mizoram's Champhai districts have made it to the top 10 cleanest districts.
Each district has been judged on four distinct parameters. Maximum weightage was placed on accessibility to safe toilets and water.
The parameters to judge sanitation status include households having access to safe toilets, households having no litter around, public places with no litter in the surrounding and households having no stagnant waste water.
Tomar congratulated the district administrators, councillors and gram panchayats of all the 75 districts which were assessed for participating in the survey and for giving their feedback.
He also went on to congratulate Mandi and Sindhudurg for leading the Swachh Bharat Mission by example and driving the much needed behavioural change needed in rural society.
The Minister said that this exercise would foster a healthy spirit of competition amongst districts in the race to achieve the cleanest district tag.
The government targets to make India open defecation free (ODF) by 2019.
(With Agencies input)