The move taken by the forest department has been widely appreciated by various sections of the society in the state.
It has been observed that in the forest adjoining areas, people need to go to the forest for open defecation and get attacked by the wild elephants. To check such incidents, the State Forest Department is planning to set up toilets at every households situated in and around the forest areas in different sub-divisions.
Forest Minister Binay Krishna Burman on Sunday flagged off the project at Baikunthapur forest division in North Bengal under which around 350 households situated at the forest area have got toilets. The department has a plan to set up toilets at other households at other forest ranges as well in various phases.
“Our department has constructed 350 toilets in the houses of the villagers living in Baikunthapur range. This will reduce the incidents of human-animal conflict. We have a plan to set up toilets for the villagers residing at other forest ranges through various phases as the project requires huge fund,” Burman said.
He also said that people living in the forest areas have to confront various wild animals when they go for open defecation. After considering the matter which is of great importance, the State Forest Department has chalked out an elaborate plan to solve problem. The project which was inaugurated at North Bengal was a part of weeklong Bono Mohotsav celebration started on July 14 by the Forest Department.
The Forest Department has urged the district administration and various Panchayat functionaries in the district having forest areas, to come forward and join hands with the department to conduct the project in a smoother way.
It may be mentioned that the state government had launched Mission Nirmal Bangla in October 2014 under which various sanitation projects were taken up at various levels. The state government had also set up a target before various departments to achieve cleanliness and sanitation by forming an administrative mechanism. Mission Nirmal Bangla was a brainchild of the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who had laid emphasis on the cleanliness drive.
In less than a year’s time, Nadia had become the first Indian district to earn Open Defecation Free (ODF) status, on April 30 in 2015. Nadia launched an aggressive sanitation project in the name or everyone’s toilet.
In around 18 months, nearly 347,000 toilets were built in the district. Mission Nirmal Bangla which has now become a showcase project of the state government has been carried out by various district administrations and the UNICEF.