ONI Bureau: The Rural Sanitation Campaign under Swachh Bharat Mission, has gathered momentum in Odisha with a quantum jump in individual household latrine (IHHL) coverage growing by 44% over the last 3 years.
It was confirmed at the high level review meeting held by Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi and Union Secretary, Drinking Water & Sanitation, Parameswaran Iyer.
The district wise review was done over the video conferencing in which the Collectors along with district level officials presented updates from their respective districts. The review showed that the IHHL coverage in rural areas of the State by end of January, 2018 reached 56% against 12% coverage as per baseline survey of October, 2014.
Chief Secretary Padhi directed all the Collectors to scale up their coverage to at least 65% by March 2018. Principal Secretary Panchayati Raj & Drinking Water, Singh advised the collectors to utilize the same manpower deployed for implementation of rural housing.
The survey also revealed that around 7,715 villages in 30 districts of the state have been declared ODF (Open Defecation Free). Union Secretary Iyer advised to complete ODF status verification of these villages within 90 days from the day of ODF declaration and upload the results on the website.
In Odisha, only Deogarh district has been declared ODF district in the State. Target was set to make 5 more districts ODF in different phases by end of June 2018. They included Jharsuguda, Balasore, Gajpati, Sambalpur and Sonepur.
Director General, Special Projects, Govt of India, Akshya Rout, Director Drinking Water Mission, Odisha, Roopa Mishra, Engineer in Chief Bhgaban Sahoo, Superintendent Engineer Abhaya Kumar Biswal, along with other senior members of the department participated in the review meet.