Guwahati, January 1: Arunachal embraced 2018 with its promise of making the state Open Defecation Free. After Sikkim, it has become the second state in the northeastern region of India to achieve the ODF status. With the official release declaring the remaining three districts of Upper Subansiri, Siang and Changlang as Open defecation Free, Arunachal inks its freedom from the hazards of open defecation officially today.
Furthermore, what remains immensely significant is how the state has managed to achieve their target much ahead of their scheduled deadline of October 2, 2019. The state government, by cutting short the national ODF target by one year and ten months, had set December 31, 2017 as the final deadline to achieve ODF status in Arunachal Pradesh.
This project, initiated under Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) SBM (G), was accomplished only after the incentive of Rs 8,000 per toilet granted by the state government. Additionally, the support of Rs 12,000 extended by the Centre resulted in raising the grant for the construction of a toilet to Rs 20,000.
On October 2, 2017, the state government further launched Swachh Arunachal Mission at Tawang envisioning the Swachh Protocol (Cleanliness Protocol) that endeavored to ensure sustainability of assets created under SBM (Gramin).
Chief Minister Pema Khandu expresses his contentment to find people even in the remotest of villages like Pipsorang, Taksing, Vijaynagar participating wholeheartedly in the construction works, despite the quirks and oddities of commuting in such landscapes that require strenuous trekking for days together while carrying construction materials on head load to the destination.