It was on course to meet its target in April

Andhra Pradesh meets its deadline all urban areas declared free of open defecation Image for representation only / PTI
news Open Defecation Sunday, October 02, 2016 - 18:29

Right on schedule, all of Andhra Pradesh’s urban areas have been declared as open defecation free on the occasion of MK Gandhi’s birth anniversary.

At end of April, Urban Development Secretary Rajiv Gauba said during a review meeting of the Swachh Bharat Mission that Andhra Pradesh was on course to meet its targets of toilet construction. During the meeting with the Collectors of all 13 districts it emerged that the state it had made good progress in construction individual, community, and public toilets in all 110 municipal areas and had achieved 89% of total wards had door-to-door waste collection.

The other state that was declared as open defecation free was Gujarat, whose 180 cities and towns, including Mahatma Gandhi's home district Porbandar, had achieved this.

Union Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation Narendra Singh Tomar and Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani made the announcement at Porbandar, while Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu made the declaration during the Gandhi Jayanti programme in Tirupati.

Addressing the Porbandar programme through a video-link, Minister of Urban Development M. Venkaiah Naidu said: "Declaration of Porbandar district and other areas as Open Defecation-Free is an interim gift to Mahatma on the occasion of his birth anniversary today. The final gift of Swachh Bharat would be presented to Gandhiji on the occasion of his 150th birth anniversary on October 2, 2019."

During the Gandhi birth anniversary celebration at Tirupati, Chandrababu Naidu urged the people to become "Swachhagrahis" to make the country free from poor hygiene in the spirit of ‘Satyagrahis' who won political freedom for the country under the leadership of the Mahatma. 

He said that an amount of Rs 186 crore has been sanctioned for Andhra Pradesh for schemes of solid waste management in urban areas.

Naidu released a book "In the Footsteps of Mahatma: Gandhi and Sanitation" authored by Sudarshan Iyangar, a veteran Gandhian.

The Chief Minister also released a postal stamp on 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan'.

So far, 405 cities and towns are said to have become free from open defecation along with 20,000 of the 82,000 urban wards in the country. Another 334 cities and towns are slated to end the open defecation practice by March, 2017.

Maharashtra, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Mizoram and other northeastern states are on course to declare all urban areas as 'Open Defecation-Free' soon.

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