Himachal Pradesh was declared ‘Open Defecation Free’ (ODF), the country’s second state, after Sikkim to get this status under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’ to have toilet for every individual household. Among bigger states, however, Himachal Pradesh will be the first state to become ODF. All 12 districts of the state have been covered as ODF districts. The newly acquired status, whichcomes barely four days before the ODF status will be officially conferred to Kerala on November 1, will entitle Himachal Pradesh to receive World Bank funding under Rs 9,000 crore project to sustain sanitation campaign. Making this announcement here jointly with Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and Union Minister for Health J P Nadda, Minister for Rural Development Narendra Singh Tomar said it was heartening to note how the state has achieved the ODF target, at least five months in advance by taking up the task for construction of toilets in a campaign mode.
Besides, World Bank funding to sustain the ODF status, Himachal Pradesh will also get funding for the construction of 7500 rural houses.
Having 3,226 panchayats and a total of 18,465 villages as per baseline study done in 2012, Himachal Pradesh was one of the pioneering states which had taken-up Community-Led Total (rural) Sanitation (CLTS) in the country.