Birbhum to be declared Open Defecation Free district next month
Kolkata: Birbhum will be declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) district in December.
It will be the 10th district in Bengal that will be declared ODF.
Earlier, nine districts in Bengal have already been declared ODF. The districts are — Nadia (country's first ODF district), Malda, Cooch Behar, North and South 24 Parganas, Hooghly, East Midnapore, Burdwan East and West.
In Howrah, work to make the district Open Defecation Free is in full swing. By March 2018, two more districts — West Midnapore and Murshidabad will be declared ODF. The state Panchayats and Rural Development department has kept December 2018 the deadline for making all the districts in Bengal ODF. However, the Centre's deadline is October 2019.
The pace of work in Bankura, Purulia and Darjeeling is going on at a rather slow speed. But steps have been taken to expedite the work. In Darjeeling, progress was badly hit due to the indefinite strike called by the GJM regarding the Gorkhaland issue.
Along with construction of toilets in rural homes, the Panchayats and Rural Development department and administration in all the districts are carrying out massive campaigns asking the villagers to use toilets.
"The villagers will have to maintain the toilets and if they do not develop the habit of using them, then the effort will prove to be futile," senior officials of Panchayats and Rural Development department said.
The administration in several districts have formed small groups which do house-to-house campaigns asking the residents not to defecate in the open and use toilets.