UP lags behind in achieving ODF target
As the country observes the National Panchayati Raj Day on Tuesday, Uttar Pradesh seems to be faltering on achieving the rural sanitation target of constructing individual household latrines.lucknow Updated: Apr 24, 2018 14:23 IST
As the country observes the National Panchayati Raj Day on Tuesday, Uttar Pradesh seems to be faltering on achieving the rural sanitation target of constructing individual household latrines.
While some other big states have already declared themselves open defecation free (ODF), UP’s ODF coverage remains one of the lowest at little more than 35.26%
Speaking at a function organized here on the occasion of the National Panchayati Raj Day last year, chief minister Yogi Adityanath had declared that UP, country’s most populous state, would become an ODF state by October 2018, a year prior to the all-India target. As many as 30 of the 75 districts would be declared ODF by October 2017 itself, he had declared.
A reality check a year after the announcement now shows that UP may not meet even the all-India deadline, leave alone achieving its own target of declaring UP open defecation free by October this year.
Information available on the Swachh Bharat Mission’s (Gramin) website reveals that whereas all-India coverage of individual household latrines increased from 38.70% in October 2014 to 82.6% till date (April 23, 2018), in UP it increased to only 64.3% from 35.26%.
On the other hand, similar big states like Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Gujarat achieved 100% coverage, while coverage in MP and Andhra Pradesh has gone up to 87.08% and 99.13% respectively. Except Gujarat, where the individual household latrine coverage was already high at 54.43% in October 2014, other states’ coverage was around the same as that in UP.
It is revealed that UP falls in the category of five states where the toilet coverage is the lowest. Other states are Odisha, Bihar, Puducherry, and J&K-- UP being on fourth position from the top.
Against the CM’s announcement of declaring 30 districts ODF by October 2017, only eight districts had been able to achieve the status so far. All the eight districts (Shamli, Gautam Budhnagar, Ghaziabad, Bijnor, Meerut, Hapur, Baghpat and Muzaffarnagar) are in western UP.
Sources said achieving the ODF target would be even more difficult in other regions of the state. “In western UP, which is relatively a prosperous region, the ODF coverage is already; better but the real challenge will come from other regions,” they said.
Additional chief secretary, panchayati raj, RK Tiwari said, “We have done a lot of work on construction of individual toilets, but achieving the target is a challenge due to various factors, including the very size of the state and at times paucity of funds and labour.”