All the 1,137 statutory cities and towns in six States of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Kerala and Telangana are set to be declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) by October 2 this year, a senior government official has revealed. The achievement will mark third anniversary of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban).
The likelihood of this achievement is based on the regular reports being received from States/Urban Territories (UTs).
Speaking during the review of progress in Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban), Union Urban Development Secretary Durga Shanker Mishra, revealed that with Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Chandigarh to have already declared all the 281 cities and towns under their jurisdiction ODF, a total of 1,418 cities and towns would become ODF by this October, two years ahead of the mission deadline of October 2, 2019. These nine States account for 39% of the total 4,041 mission cities.
The number of mission cities in Maharashtra are 384, followed by Madhya Pradesh (378), Chhattisgarh (168), Kerala (93), Telangana (73) and Jharkhand (41).
Gujarat has already declared all 170 cities and towns ODF while Andhra Pradesh had done so in respect of 110 cities and towns. Chandigarh is the only UT to have become ODF.
The six States, which are set to become in urban areas, have a total target of construction of 22,44,003 Individual Household Targets while Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Chandigarh have constructed 9,51,177 such toilets. These nine States/UT account for a total of 31,95,180 toilets which comes to 49% of the total mission target of construction of 65,82,451 toilets.
In Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Sikkim, the toilets constructed so far and under construction comes to 100% of mission target, followed by Uttarakhand-92%, Maharashtra-91%, Puducherry, Chhattisgarh-89%, Tamil Nadu-85%, Telangana-81%, Kerala-77%, Karnataka-74%, Punjab-68%, Andaman and Nicobar Islands-67%, Bihar-63%, Rajasthan-61%, Uttar Pradesh-49%, and Haryana-46%.
Mishra also asked the concerned officials to pursue with the States/UTs lagging behind which include Goa, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha, Jammu and Kashmir and North-Eastern States and UTs for speeding up construction of toilets which are necessary to turn ODF.
The senior officer also stressed on the need to focus attention on Solid Waste Management projects for ensuring total processing of municipal solid waste by October, 2019.
During the 33rd edition of his monthly radio programme –“Mann Ki Baat” — Prime Minister Modi lavished praises on two villages for undertaking initiatives to make themselves free of open defecation, establishing an example for the rest in the wake of the ‘Swachh Bharat’ drive.
The overall mission target is to construct a whopping 65 lakh individual household toilets for the country’s urban areas to be completely open defecation free, according to the Urban Development Ministry.