With 2.5 lakh households yet to have functional toilets, the state government is determined to achieve the target of 100% open defecation free (ODF) status before 2019.Under the 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan' (SBA), the state has been given approval of rs852.55 crore for revised projects, of which the first installment of Rs 48 crore has been received.
A government spokesperson said as many as 2.2 lakh individual toilets would be constructed, out of which 54,000 had already been constructed, besides 1,200 toilets were under construction in the schools.
He said the state would certainly achieve the target to make every household open defecation free, well before 2019,-the targeted year by the union government.
He said the state government had already prepared action plan for this. “The aim of the present government under Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA) is to achieve 100 % access to sanitation for all rural households by the year 2022, which under SBA has now been advanced to make Himachal open defecation free by 2019, by construction of individual, institutional, cluster and community toilets,” he said.
For this, water pipelines have to be laid in all villages enabling tap connections into households. Keeping villages clean, efficient solid and liquid waste management through gram panchayats have been ensured.
The government also approved a strategy and adopted total sanitation campaign (TSC) as a demand driven community led and people cantered programme to achieve the nirmal Himachal status. The strategy was to address all sections of rural population so as to bring about relevant behavioral changes for improved sanitation and hygiene practices in the rural areas of the state. In order to ensure that the state's achievements under the sanitation campaign are sustainable, the universalisation of Nirmal Gram Purskar has been given priority.
As per the fresh base line survey conducted in early 2013, it was observed that out of over 14 lakh households in the state, more than 12 lakh already have the toilets facility and around 2.5 lakh, including defunct, are left to be covered.
The state government had identified 477 panchayats of Himachal for providing solid and liquid management system in the first phase and all 3,243 panchayats of the state would be covered under the system in a phased manner.