New Delhi: Uttarakhand and Haryana have become the fourth and fifth Open Defecation Free (ODF) states of India under the Swachh Bharat Mission, said an official statement on Thursday.
The two states on Thursday joined the league of Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh and Kerala, which were the first three states to be declared ODF.
"Nationally, the sanitation coverage has increased from 42% to over 64% in just two-and-a-half years since the launch of the Swachh Bharat Mission," said the statement. Uttarakhand's 13 districts, 95 blocks, 7,256 gram panchayats and 1,5751 villages, while Haryana has 21 districts, 124 blocks, and 6,083 gram panchayats -- all of which have declared themselves as ODF in formal declarations in Dehradun and Chandigarh, respectively.
"Today, Swachh Bharat Mission has become a truly people's movement. People of Uttarakhand and Haryana, the government officials and representatives of other institutions have contributed towards this milestone," the statement quoted Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, as having said. With the total number of ODF states now rising to five, over two lakh villages and 147 districts have been declared Open Defecation Free across the country.