Karnataka declared it has achieved 76 per cent of the rural population as not dependent on open defacation exactly three years after Swacch Bharat Mission announced by the Government of India. The State set a new target of achieving 100 percent open defecation in the State by March 2018. If all goes well, Karnataka will be the first in India to achieve open defecation-free State.
On the occasion of Gandhi Jayanthi, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah honoured 1900 gram panchayats with the Gandhi Gram Puraskar Awards for achieving 100 percent success in construction of toilets. The award carries a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh besides a citation. The CM called upon all to work towards making sanitation “a birth right of all citizens”.
While sharing progress of the cleanliness campaign in rural Karnataka, the CM said 31.12 lakh toilets have been constructed during the last four years and four months, including 5.05 lakh in 2013-14, 7.79 lakh in 2014-15, 5.3 lakh in 2015-16, and 5.78 lakh as on September 25 during this year.
According to Hanumanthagowda Krishnagowda Patil, Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, Government of Karnataka, 11 districts in the State — Shivamogga, Chikkamagalu ru, Mandya, Ramanagaram, Kolar, Hassan, Kodagu, Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Bengaluru Urban and Bengauru Rural — are free of open defecation. Kolar district became the first district in Karnataka to complete construction of personal toilets in urban areas.