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Open defecation still a reality in Assam

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  29 April 2017 12:00 AM GMT

32.57 per cent of the total households in the State still don’t have individual household latrines; by 2019, all households in the State will have individual latrines, says PHE Minister Rihon Daimary


GUWAHATI, April 28: During the erstwhile UPA regime, individual household latrines were built across the country including Assam under the now defunct Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA). But despite such a programme, 32.57 per cent of the total households in the State still do not have individual household latrines.

There were also allegations of corruption to have taken place in the State in the me of sanctioning and building individual household latrines under NBA during the previous Congress government days. The NBA was launched to help people mainly in rural areas to shun open defecation for a healthy living.

After the NDA government came to power at the Centre, the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) was launched on October 2, 2014 by Prime Minister rendra Modi and set a target to achieve the “Vision of Swachh Bharat” by October 2, 2019. But the government is facing a tough challenge in achieving the vision in Assam by October 2, 2019 as 32.57 per cent of the total households in the State is yet to be covered under SBM. As per Baseline Survey 2012, 67.43 per cent of the total 56.77 lakh households in Assam have individual household latrines but 32.57 per cent of households are yet to get the same facility. “Among the districts which are worst in terms of having individual household latrines are Karbi Anglong (57.92 per cent of households don’t have individual latrines), Barpeta (47.19) and Dima Hasao (47.69). The situation is best in Kamrup (Metro) district where 97.64 per cent households have individual latrines,” stated the government records.

In 2016-17 under SBM, the Public Health Engineering Department has taken a target of construction of 8.50 lakh individual household latrines and already 7.32 lakh such latrines were built up to the first week of March last.

Talking to The Sentinel on this issue, PHE Minister Rihon Daimary said, “By 2019, all households in the State will have individual latrines. The Central Government has provided fund for the purpose. We have also set a target to make Assam a defecation free zone and we will try our best to achieve this target.” Now, it is to be seen whether the present BJP-led coalition government at Dispur would achieve this target within the stipulated timeframe or not without any chances of corruption in its implementation.

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