Birbhum district administration will declare 53 gram panchayats as “Nirmal gram panchayat” on November 30.
This was announced at a high-level meeting presided over by the District Magistrate P Mohan Gandhi on Wednesday. These gram panchayats are situated in 19 blocks -where toilets have been built in every house.
Four blocks are situated in Bolpur block while Ilambazar and Labpur blocks have four gram panchayats each. The construction of toilets in five gram panchayats under Suri blocks I and II has been completed.
Apart from these, toilets are ready in Dubrajpur, Khoirasole, Rajnagar, Rampurhat and Mayureshwar blocks. Gandhi said: “Out of 167 gram panchayats in the district construction of toilets in 53 gram panchayats are ready and they would be declared Nirmal Gram panchayats on November 30.”
It may be recalled that Nadia was the country’s first district which was declared Open Defecation Free by the Centre. The other districts that have been declared ODF are North 24 Parganas, East Midnapore, Hooghly and North 24 Parganas.
Work has been taken up on a war footing to declare Burdwan, South 24 Parganas, South and North Dinajpur, Birbhum, Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling ODF in 2017-18.
The state government has decided to construct toilets in all the village homes by March 2019.
Y Ratnakar Rao, District Magistrate of Murshidabad said steps had been taken to declare the district as ODF by March, 2017. Campaign has been launched all over the district to create awareness among people against Open Defecation.
In the district, blue toilets will be constructed. As the toilets are painted in blue they have been called “blue toilet.” There will be a water storage tank and running water supply. The cost of each blue toilet is Rs 13,000.
The state government is giving Rs 10,000 while the remaining Rs 3,000 will have to be given by the owner of the house. Blue toilets are costlier than the usual toilets build by the state Panchayat and Rural development department.
The construction cost of toilets under Nirmal Bangla Mission is Rs 10,900. Of this amount, the state government gives Rs 10,000 while the remaining Rs 900 is given by the house owner. Campaign has also been launched to create awareness among people about how to use the toilet. In addition to the state government, several NGOs have been involved to create awareness among people.