Shimla, July 24: A sanitation campaign launched in Himachal Pradesh nearly 11 years ago to eradicate the practice of open defecation will achieve 100 percent success by next month, a government official said here Sunday.
‘The state is poised to become the first ‘Nirmal State’ in the country by August this year,’ a government spokesperson told IANS.
The total sanitation campaign was initially launched in 2000 from the state’s Sirmaur district.
As of now 3,202 panchayats are free of open defecation and the remaining 41 would achieve the same by next month, he added.
‘The total sanitation campaign has made such an impact on the rural communities that the village sanitation committees has made it mandatory not to defecate in open and has adopted a procedure of imposing fine on those who do not adhere to the rules,’ said a government statement.
The Neen Panchayat in Basantpur block of Shimla district was the first to be declared ODF and was conferred the first state-level sanitation award of Rs.10 lakh under the state government reward scheme in 2007.
The school sanitation is part of the total sanitation campaign. All government schools in the state have been provided with toilet facilities and in the past three years, 21,871 toilets were constructed in schools, 9,053 toilets in 18,352 anganwari centres and 504 in community complexes.
The total sanitation campaign is a comprehensive programme, guided by the union rural development ministry, to ensure sanitation facilities in rural areas with the broader goal to eradicate the practice of open defecation.