Himachal to become 'open defecation free' ahead of target

Himachal is all set to become "open defecation free" (ODF) state before October 2, 2019, the target date of 'Swachh Bharat Mission' of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

PTI| Last Updated: Oct 26, 2014, 22:05 PM IST

Shimla: Himachal is all set to become "open defecation free" (ODF) state before October 2, 2019, the target date of 'Swachh Bharat Mission' of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"As per a baseline survey conducted in 2013, out of 14,835,62 households in the state, 12,745,55 had toilets. As many as 2.2 lakh individual toilets were required to be constructed of which 54,000 have already been constructed and 1,200 toilets were under construction in the schools," an official spokesman here said.

Earlier, the government had set the year 2022 as target date to make the state ODF under the 'Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan' by constructing individual, institutional, cluster and community toilets in the entire state, but now the state is all set to achieve the target of making Himchal Pradesh ODF by 2019.

The government has approved Rs 852.55 crore for revised projects under the Swachh Bharat Mission, out of which the first installment of Rs 48 crore has been received.

Also, the government has identified 477 panchayats for providing solid and liquid management system in the first phase and all 3,243 panchayats would be covered under the system in a phased manner.

The government would expedite the works of laying of pipelines in all villages, enabling the people to get water connections in each household for providing water for keeping the toilets clean.

Keeping villages clean and efficient solid and water

management through gram panchayats have been ensured, an official spokesman here said.

The government approved a strategy and adopted "Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC)" as a demand driven community-led and people cantered programme and the strategy was to address all sections of rural population to bring about relevant behavioural changes for improved sanitation and hygiene practices in the rural areas of the State.

So far out of 3,243 panchayats in the state, 1,011 panchayats have already received Nirmal Gram Panchayat award after achieving total sanitation target, while 695 more panchayats have applied for the award this year.

Himachal Rural Development and Panchayati Raj minister, Anil Sharma, said that total sanitation target has almost been achieved and panchayats not covered under the programme yet would be covered shortly.

"In the coming days, special attention would be paid to cover remote and tribal areas of the state, so as to achieve the 100 per cent target," he added.