Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh Tuesday declared Manipur as the 23rd state to become Open Defecation Free (ODF) in India. It is the 5th state in the North East to get the ODF tag. Dr Najma Heptulla, the Governor of Manipur handed over the certificate of ODF Manipur to Singh during the observance of National Cleanliness Day at Gandhi Memorial Hall in Imphal. She also handed over the best Swachhgrahi to seven individuals for organising IEC campaign on sanitation and safe drinking water.
At the event, the chief minister also announced the launch of Google Toilet locator, which enable people to locate the nearest public toilet for use when needed from their mobile in the State.
On the 149th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Singh said that Swachh Bharat Mission is not meant for a single political party to earn political mileage, but a mission to keep the country neat and clean. Let’s take a pledge to make our country clean, he added.
He asserted that a clean and healthy environment would contribute towards healthy society and healthy India. “The teachings of Mahatma Gandhi have a lot of relevance in the present society. Acknowledging the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi on non-violence, the United Nations declared October 2nd as International Day of Non-Violence on 15th June 2007”, he added.
Nidhi Kesarwani, secretary PHE Manipur, said as per base Line Survey (BLS), out of the total 4.45 lakh rural households in Manipur, 2.5 lakh households were without toilets in 2012. However, today, 100 per cent coverage of the toilets has been achieved in rural areas with the construction of more than 2.5 lakh toilets, she said.
“In last 9 months the progress for construction of toilets is outstanding and the state has built more than 60,000 toilets,” she informed adding that Manipur achieved the status of ODF much earlier to the national target which is set on October 2, 2019.
Under the Swacchh Bharat mission, a community-led sanitation approach along with a cluster-based human resource network was adopted with the technical input from the CCDU, PHED, Manipur and most importantly by five young zilla Swacchh Barat prekas.
“Dedicated young districts officials were actively engaged and involved even in manual labour work including loading and unloading of the construction materials where they are compelled to visit only by Shaktiman (truck) vehicle, in many cases walking miles by foot and spending week time in different far-flung areas of hill districts of state”, she said.
The deputy commissioner spearheaded the drive in all districts and made it possible for the districts to be ODF with timely review and interventions, she continued.
According to joint director Manipur Administration and Urban Development (MAHUD) altogether 26,000 toilets were constructed in urban areas under need base.
Although the MAHUD initially set a target of 40,000 toilets in urban areas, only 26,000 applications were received online, said the joint director adding that the department would continue if there was further need for toilets.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines