A TOTAL of 6 crore toilets have been constructed across 3 lakh villages in rural India till date with 300 districts being declared open defecation free, the Union government said on Wednesday.
According to the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, since the mission’s launch in 2014, the states and Union Territories of Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Haryana, Chandigarh and Daman & Diu have been declared ODF under Swachh Bharat Mission.
Parameswaran Iyer, Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, said 15 more states are slated to be declared ODF by the end of this financial year and the mission will reach its ODF target by October 2019. The ODF process is mostly based on self-declaration and much of it is to be verified by the Centre.
Iyer cited UNICEF estimates to state that the lack of sanitation is responsible for the deaths of over 100,000 children in India annually and that a household in an ODF village saves Rs 50,000 every year by way of medical expenditure.