Bengaluru, Nov 19 (IANS) Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Monday said the southern state was open defecation free in its rural areas.
“Earlier statistics showed that only half or one-third of the rural households had individual toilets, but presently, all the 70.2 lakh rural households in the state have been provided with individual toilets, thereby reducing open defecation,” Kumaraswamy said at a state government’s event here.
The state’s Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department has built 45 lakh toilets in about five years, said Kumaraswamy at the event held to mark the World Toilet Day in Bengaluru.
The United Nations observes World Toilet Day each year globally to tackle the sanitation crisis.
The 45 lakh toilets were built since 2013 across Karnataka’s 6,022 local bodies (gram panchayats) in all the 176 taluks (sub-districts) of the state’s 30 districts, an official statement said.
“While the central government has been pushing for “Swacch Bharat” Mission (Clean India Mission) to make the country open defecation free, Karnataka has executed it ahead of time,” Kumaraswamy claimed.
The state had aimed to become open defecation free by 2018, a year ahead of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary in 2019, Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara said on the occasion.
Cleanliness and sanitation have a positive impact on the lives of people in the state, said Rural Development Minister Krishna Byre Gowda.
“All sections of the society must contribute to making the state a model by staying open defecation free. It will have a strong, positive impact on the lives of women and children,” Gowda said.