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Arunachal Pradesh on Sunday emerged as the second state in the Northeast, after Sikkim, to be declared Open Defecation Free. The three remaining districts – Upper Subansiri, Siang and Changlang — were declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) officially on Sunday, an official release said.
Arunachal has 21 districts and the state attained the feat much before the national deadline of October 2, 2019. The state government had cut short the ODF target by one year and 10 months ahead of the national target and set December 31 this year as the deadline.
The project undertaken under Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) SBM (G) saw the light of day only after the state government extended an incentive of Rs 8,000 per toilet. This is in addition to the Centre’s support of Rs 12,000, raising the grant for constructing a toilet to Rs 20,000.
The state government also launched Swachh Arunachal Mission on October 2 this year at Tawang which envisaged the Swachh Protocol (Cleanliness Protocol) aimed at ensuring sustainability of assets created under SBM (Gramin).
“I am personally overwhelmed to find people participating in the construction of toilets even in remote villages along the international borders like Vijaynagar, Taksing, Pipsorang despite communication bottlenecks requiring strenuous trekking for days together carrying construction materials along with ration on head load,” Chief Minister Pema Khandu said while crediting the accomplishment to the people.
“Today we attain freedom from open defecation. We have finally won the battle and liberated ourselves from the open defecation menace. The tiring and rigorous fight against open defecation was a herculean task but not impossible,” state Public Health Engineering & Water Supply Minister Bamang Felix said.