With Senapati officially declared as the first Open Defecation Free (ODF) district, Manipur has finally exited the ill-reputed club of three states that don’t have a single ODF district. Manipur is now looking to become the third state in the North East, after Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, to attain the ODF tag.
Till Tuesday, Manipur was among the only three states not to have a single ODF district, the other two being Bihar and Goa.
On Tuesday, Manipur PHED minister had declared Senapati district as the first Open Defecation Free district in the state. Under the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin), 27,755 low cost latrines have reportedly been constructed at the cost of Rs 13,000. Although the SBM was launched in 2014, the mission was started only in 2015 for Senapati.
The hill district of Senapati lies in the northern part of Manipur, bordering Nagaland. According to the 2011 census, Senapati district has a population of 4,79,148. The district has a good track record when it comes to implementation of flagship programmes.
Of the eight northeastern states, only Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh hold the distinction of being open defecation free. While Arunachal attained the status towards the end of 2017, Sikkim earned the distinction of becoming the country’s first ODF state way back in December 2008, much before the hyped Swachh Bharat Abhiyan was launched in 2014.
The remaining northeastern states are active in implementing objectives of the Swachh Bharat Mission. Meghalaya has been a good performer and with over 1.91 lakh rural toilets, and is nearing ODF status. Nagaland is targeting to become Open Defecation Free state this year.