New Delhi: Over 75 per cent of villages along the banks of river Ganga have become open defecation-free, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today, emphasising that his government has taken up this work on priority.
He said ever since the government launched the Swachh Bharat Mission in October 2014, over 1,80,000 villages across 130 districts have been declared ODF and access to toilets in rural households rose from 42 per cent to 63 per cent.
Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh and Kerala have been declared as ODF, while states like Gujarat, Haryana, Uttarkhand and some others are moving forward in that direction, PM Modi said.
He also highlighted how tweets related to uncleanliness in railways receive prompt response and are met with quick action, reflecting his government's commitment in ensuring cleanliness.
"75 per cent villages along the banks of Ganga in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal have been declared as ODF.
"Waste management programme has been planned so that village's garbage does not pollute the river. I hope the banks of Ganga become ODF at the earliest," the PM said.
He was speaking after inaugurating an exhibition titled 'Swachchhagrah Bapu Ko Karyanjali - Ek Abhiyan, Ek Pradarshani' to mark the 100 years of Mahatma Gandhi's Champaran satyagraha, his first battle against the British rule in India.
He also launched an 'Online Interactive Quiz' on the occasion.
Modi said the dream of a clean India envisaged by Mahatma Gandhi remains unrealised after independence and apart from paying him tributes, the country should also work to realise that.
"If Gandhiji undertook satyagraha to free the nation (from British rule), it is the time to undertake swachchhagrah to wage a war against uncleanliness," he said.
Modi also announced starting of a National Cleanliness Centre in Delhi that will impart information about cleanliness and new technologies pertaining to it.
Emphasising on generating wealth from waste, he urged the countrymen to explore whether construction waste can become a means to earn livelihood by generating electricity out of it or if it can be recycled and re-used.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Modi said, has launched a mobile app where complaints for over 55,000 petrol pumps can be lodged if toilets in their premises are found to be unclean.
"Almost all government schools, there are different toilets for girls and boys. Chapters of cleanliness have been added in schools," he said.