Open defecation along Ganga in Uttar Pradesh to be passé soon | lucknow | Hindustan Times
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Open defecation along Ganga in Uttar Pradesh to be passé soon

One of the top assignments that the panchayati raj department had been given by the new government three months ago was to end open defecation along the bank of the Ganga by building household toilets in all the villages.

lucknow Updated: Jun 17, 2017 16:02 IST
Brajendra K Parashar
Villages spreading in 25 districts along the river will become open defecation free
Villages spreading in 25 districts along the river will become open defecation free (HT File Photo)

The practice of open defecation along the Ganga in Uttar Pradesh is all set to stop as the government has special plans for it. By the time the Yogi Adityanath government completes 100 days in office on June 26, all the 1627 villages spreading in 25 districts along the river will become open defecation free (ODF).

One of the top assignments that the panchayati raj department had been given by the new government three months ago was to end open defecation along the bank of the Ganga by building household toilets in all the villages there. The authorities now claim they will meet the deadline.

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“Ninety-seven percent villages falling in 19 of the 25 districts along the Ganga have already achieved the ODF status,” additional chief secretary, panchayati raj, Chanchal Tiwari told HT.

The remaining 150 villages in the 6 districts, he added, would also join the club within 10 days or so.

Tiwari said meeting the target of declaring all 1627 villages ODF was a big challenge as there were a large number of villages along the Ganga in some districts.

“Like Allahabad has more than 100 villages along the Ganga,” he said.

Director, panchayati raj, Vijay Kiran Anand claimed there was a foolproof system involving geotagging to verify the officials’ information on toilet construction in a village under the centre’s rural sanitation mission.

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“We also see to it that people actually use household toilets once they are ready and functional,” said Anand.

When the Modi government launched the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in October 2014, eradicating open defecation by villages and towns situated along the Ganga was one of the top priorities. Apart from UP, the Ganga also flows through Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal.

While the authorities may pat their own back for achieving the ODF status for the villages along the Ganga, UP’s overall status with regard to the ODF is very poor. With only a little more than 48% individual household latrine (IHHL) coverage so far, UP ranks among the five lowest ranking states after Odisha, Jammu & Kashmir, Bihar, according to the information available on the mission website.