Arunachal Pradesh has become the second state in the Northeast to become open defecation free (ODF), the state government announced on Sunday. The first was Sikkim.
While the national target is October 2, 2019, Arunachal Pradesh set the deadline one year and ten months in advance. The project to make the state ODF was undertaken under the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin), reports The Arunachal Times.
An additional incentive of Rs 8,000 per toilet was provided by the state government, apart from the state’s matching share and the Centre’s support.
A cost of Rs 20,000 was raised.
“The Herculean task has been made possible with the support of the Union Drinking Water & Sanitation ministry, constant monitoring by the PHE & WS department and other stakeholders,” said Chief Minister Pema Khandu, the publication reported.
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According to Pema, it was overwhelming to see people taking part in the construction of the toilets in remote villages along the international border. It required them to trek for days carrying material and ration on their head.
The Swachh Arunachal Mission was also launched on October 2 by the state government last year at Tawang. This envisaged the Swachh Protocol (Cleanliness Protocol) to ensure sustainability of assets created under SBM (Gramin).
However, the fight doesn’t end here for Arunachal Pradesh. The state must now work towards maintaining their ODF status and end the possibility of open defecation in the future.