1842 Odisha villages declared open defecation free

Bhubaneswar: As many as 1842 villages in the state have been declared open defecation free (ODF) so far. The state government has also announced 113 gram panchayats and a block as ODF, official sources said.

Rural development department sources said Kashinagar block in Gajapati district has been declared ODF recently. The government has planned to declare Deogarh as ODF district very soon. It has also planned to declare Balasore, Gajapati, Jagatsinghpur and Boudh as ODF by the end of the year, said a senior officer.

“If entire people of a village, gram panchayat and block change their habit and use toilet without defecating in the open, then we will declare the village, GP and block open defecation free,” said the officer.

After the Centre launched Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) on October 2, 2014, construction of individual household latrines (IHHLs) had been expedited. The scheme is being implemented with the central and state funds with a ratio of 60:40. Till now, Odisha has constructed 14, 66,403 household latrines under the SBM.

The state government had conducted a baseline survey in 2012-13 to get the exact picture of house hold with and without latrines. Out of the total 90, 20,107 households, as many as 79, 81,980 households had no toilets by 2013.

According to official figure, 13, 29,832 toilets were constructed in 2015-16 and 1, 22,646 in 2016-17 (till date). Total 14, 66,403 latrines have been built so far in the state, it added.

The government is providing Rs 12,000 to a household to construct toilet. The Centre has sanctioned Rs 927 crore and the state government has made budgetary provision of Rs 740 crore to achieve the target of this year, said an official.

Rural Development secretary Madhu Sudan Padhi told TOI that the state government has set a target to touch 26 lakh toilets mark by end of this financial year. The work is underway in a mission mode, he added.

He said the state government has started supplying water to villages which has 100 per cent toilets. “We will start supplying of water to the village, which has completed 80 per cent of latrine work,” he added.

Padhi directed district collectors to expedite the construction works of toilets to complete it within deadline.

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