Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das on Friday said the state would be open defecation free (ODF) by 2018. He said the government, corporate sector, volunteer groups, media and people together would make Jharkhand ODF by 2018.
Das said public toilets would be constructed along the road between Ranchi and Bahdragora under the CSR of Tata Steel. Similarly, other companies would construct public toilets at different important roads in the state, the chief minister said, according to an official release. This will help travellers as well as help making open defecation free (ODF), Das said while addressing a programme — ODF Conclave — organised by CII.
Stating that the state had set up CSR Council, Das said a provision has been made that out of the two per cent CSR funds one per cent would be spent through the Council. Three priority areas have been underlined under the CSR Council—-to make the state ODF, implementing water supply scheme in the state and eradicating malnourishment in the state.
The decision by Prime Minister Narendra Modi of setting up of District Mineral Foundation and 30 per cent of the funds it received to be spent on development of the respective area has speeded up development, Das said. He said Rs 1500 crore the state received under this head is being spent for water pipeline scheme. Stating that water supply has been increased to 30 per cent from 12 per cent, the chief minister said the water scheme would be helpful to keep clean the toilets under ODF.
Praising a girl for constructing a toilet in Jamshedpur from her pocket money, Das said such small moves would bring change. Referring to how Mahatma Gandhi had connected even the last person of the society in the freedom struggle by making them aware against superstitions and social evils, Das said even today in knowledge-based age people are defecating in the open. “It is a matter of stigma. We have taken pledge to remove this stigma,” Das said.
In all 25 blocks, 742 gram panchayats and 5136 revenue villages have become ODF, he said. And by the end of this month another 35 other blocks would become ODF. In all, 12.71 lakh toilets have been constructed, Das said, adding the target was to make the state ODF by 2018. Stating that the state is rich but the people are poor, the chief minister said that the government was making efforts to develop basic amenities and infrastructure.
Tata Steel vice president-cum-CSR (Jharkhand) Chairman Sunil Bhaskaran, Drinking and Sanitation Department’s Principal Secretary A P Singh, CM’s Secretary Sunil Barnwal, Swachchta Mission’s director Rajesh Sharma, CII’s Sanjay Patnaik and others were present in the programme.