New Delhi: Initiative of the state government and active people’s participation has made the urban and rural Maharashtra a totally open defecation free (ODF) state, announced Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis at the Mahatma Gandhi International Swachhata Conference organised here. He assured that by 2019 each one in the state’s rural areas will be given a house to live and potable water.
Fadanvis was speaking on ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and Sustainable Development’ at the four-day Mahatma Gandhi International Swachhata Conference here at Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra by the Union Ministry of Drinking water and Sanitation. The Minister of the department Uma Bharti, and UNICEF Executive Director Henriyetta Fore were seated on the dais.
The Chief Minister further said that Maharashtra is the second largest populated state after Uttar Pradesh in the country. Though the state is forward and industrially developed, it faced a larger challenge of cleanliness. Maharashtra responded positively to the call of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi for ‘Swachha Bharat Abhiyan’. The state had 50 lakh toilets from independence to 2014 and cleanliness works accounted for 45%. In the past three years additional 60 lakh toilets were constructed and the scope of the cleanliness works was raised by 55% taking it to 100%.
The Urban and rural areas in the state have completely become free of open defecation. This was possible due to massive public participation in the state government program, he said adding that the state had chalked out a three year program for this. The government agencies took up the awareness campaign in right earnest and people’s representatives too contributed their might in this campaign. Initiatives like ‘Good Morning Squad’ were implemented. Awards worth Rs 40 crore were given to local sel;f government bodies for best work done in this regard, he said.
28 cities of state find mention in Swachh Survey: Twenty eight cities of the state have found place among the 100 cities surveyed nation-wide under ‘Swachha Survey’. This was possible because of the massive public participation as people started using toilets and keeping their surrounding clean and tidy, the Chief Minister said.
The government has planned to provide clean potable water to everyone in the state besides efforts to implement state-wide campaign for solid and liquid waste management, he added.
Houses to all in rural areas by 2019: The state government has taken up steps to provide better houses to all in the rural areas after the successfully implementing the swachhata campaign. Under this program four lakh houses are constructed in the rural areas. Efforts are on to construct 6 lakh houses and for this we are pursuing the matter with the Union Government, Fadanvis said adding that by seeking permission to build another two lakh house next year, the state will construct a total of 12 lakh houses by December 2019.
Swachhata Abhiyan under PM’s leadership: Any government program needs an efficient leadership to involve masses. The Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi has provided this electrifying leadership to the people making an appeal to the people from the Red Fort for participating in the Swachha Bharat Abhiyan. When people saw their Prime Minister sweeping the roads they came up and joined the movement voluntarily. The success of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan lies in the leadership and public participation, Fadanvis said.
A total of 160 representatives of 68 countries are participating in this conference. Principal Secretary of State’s Water Supply and Sewage Department Shyam Lal Goyal was present at this conference.