Arunachal Pradesh State Government celebrated attainment of 100 percent Open Defecation Free (ODF ) state under Swacch Bharat Mission (Gramin) here in the auditorium hall of Legislative Assembly Complex today.
It may be mentioned that Arunachal attained 100 percent ODF on 31st December 2017 as per Base Line Survey (BLS)-2012 under Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin). With this achievement, Arunachal ranks 7th in the country and second in Northeast after Sikkim to become ODF.
Addressing an enthusiastic crowd, Chief Minister Pema Khandu credited the attainment to the people of Arunachal Pradesh. He said “the long strenuous journey particularly because of the difficult and inaccessible terrain and communication bottlenecks could not deter the strong determination of our dedicated SBM team and all stakeholders particularly the villagers, PRI members, GBs, District Administration and elected representatives”. The achivement is rare for the reason that it came one year and 10 months ahead of national target of 2nd October 2019, Khandu said amidst loud ovation.
The Chief Minister while congratulating all for the achievement however cautioned the department to maintain sustainability and continuity of the status. “Herculean task is to maintain the ODF status and not allow ugly head of open defecation to rise its head” Khandu emphatically said. He called for a sustained effort to do so. “Now that 100 percent ODF has been achieved in Gramin level, the urban area needs also to be declared cent percent ODF” Khandu said while directing the UD department to put in extra effort to achieve so.
While thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his continuous encouragement, Chief Minister specially mentioned the support rendered by the Ministry of Water & Sanitation, Government of India and said that it was for them that the state could accomplish the herculean task.
Khandu also spoke on robust road, rail, air and digital connectivity which is gradually picking up its pace in the state with support of Government of India. He confidently said that with the desired connectivity, unprecedented economic development will pave its way in Arunachal Pradesh. He appealed all to be partners to development.
PHE & WS Minister Bamang Felix in his speech endorsed the Chief Minister’s appeal for maintaining sustainability of the ODF status in the state. He called upon the department officers to tighten up their belts and perform so that the state can flourish. Felix also highlighted the role of deputy commissioners in the district whose roles are primary in making any state or central program successful.
Felix said that in order to maintain sustainability, the ODF should be imprinted in the minds of the people. Every citizen should take this as a religious responsibility, he asserted. He informed the gathering that the department of PHE & WS has set 2021 as the final target to provide drinking water to each household of the state as against the national target of 2022. He further lauded the effort of the law makers, DCs, PRI members, NGOs, villagers and the department officers, officials and representatives of Ministry of Drinking water and Sanitation for making the dream of ODF come true in a record time. He specially appreciated the gesture of CM and Minister for their concerted effort and guidance in realising a seemingly impossible task. He said that the State is truly rising under the current leadership.
Among others Education Minister Hunchun Ngandam, Art & Culture Minister Mohesh Chai, Parliamentary Secretary PHE Kumsi Sidisow, representative from Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation, GoI Mr Borah and Chief Secretary Satya Gopal also spoke on the occasion.
Earlier Chief Minister Pema Khandu flagged off 22 Bolero vehicles funded under National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme in presence of Health Parliamentary Secretary Phurpa Tsering.