Five districts in Odisha to be declared as open defecation free by June

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has set a target to declare five more districts as open defecation free (ODF) districts by June this year.

The districts are Jharsuguda, Balasore, Gajpati, Sambalpur and Sonepur.

“So far, Deogarh district has been declared ODF district in the state. A target was set to make five more districts ODF in different phases by end of June 2018,” said an official on Wednesday.

While the state government has set a target to cover around 82.34 lakh households under individual household latrine (IHHL) scheme, more than 46.18 lakh of HHs have been covered by end of January 2018.

Meanwhile, rural sanitation campaign under Swatchh Bharat Mission has gathered momentum in Odisha with a quantum jump in individual household latrine (IHHL) coverage growing by 44% over last 3 years.

This was known from a high-level review meeting taken by Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi and Union Drinking Water & Sanitation Secretary Parameswaran Iyer at secretariat conference hall on Wednesday.

District wise review was done over the video conferencing in which the Collectors along with district-level officials presented updates from their respective districts.

The review showed that the IHHL coverage in rural areas of the state by end of January 2018 reached 56% against the background of 12% coverage as per baseline survey of October 2014.

Reviewing the progress of implementation at the ground level, Chief Secretary Padhi directed all the Collectors to scale up their coverage to at least 65% by March 2018.

Panchayati Raj & Drinking Water secretary Deoranjan Kumar Singh advised the collectors to utilize the same manpower deployed for implementation of rural housing.

The strategy of implementation, added Singh, should be same with the construction and completion of the dwelling houses.

The Chief Secretary clarified that toilets being constructed with PAMY (G) houses be funded from MGNRGES.

It was also known from the review that around 7715 villages in 30 districts of the State have been declared ODF.

Union Secretary Iyer advised to complete ODF status verification of these villages within 90 days from the day of ODF declaration and upload the results on the website.

Chief Secretary Padhi directed to focus on behaviour change of the people and sustainability of the campaign.

Singh asked the Collectors to engage at least 4 Swachhagrahis in each Panchayat for carrying forward the campaign and sustainability in ODF status.