Siddaramaiah government aims to achieve ODF Karnataka by October 2, 2018
Udupi district in North Karnataka, popular as a destination for Krishna devotees in view of the beautiful Krishna temple there, has become the first open defecation free (ODF) district in Karnataka. This temple town, about 50 km from Mangalore, is also closer to the Arabian Sea and there are quite a few resorts dotting the coast.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah announced this recently at the inauguration of a hospital in Udupi.
“Today Udupi has been declared as the first open defecation free district in the state. By October 2, 2018, the whole of Karnataka will be declared open defecation free,” the Chief Minister assured.
Under this scheme, the government is helping the villagers to construct their own toilets at homes besides constructing community toilets in every village and mandal in the state.
He also said that his government was also aiming to make Karnataka a hunger-free state, too.
“Our aim is to achieve a hunger free state. Projects like Annabhayga, Vasathi Bhagya, Ksheera Bhagya and Krushi Bhagya are for achieving this goal,” he claimed. These are various schemes under which the poor families get free rice and essential commodities at a very nominal cost.
On October 31, 2017, about 200 Indira Canteens were inaugurated in Bengaluru which serve breakfast and some rice varieties for less than Rs 10.
Attributing the setting up of Indira canteens in the state as a tribute to former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Siddaramaiah said besides the 200 such canteens functioning in Bengaluru, all taluk and district headquarters would have a canteen. “One canteen per one lakh people is our aim. We will have 300 more such canteens in the state,” he declared.
He said that the rice provided to Indira canteens was of good quality and refuted allegations that they were of substandard quality.
He made this announcement significantly after the Union Urban Development Ministry criticised that the IT capital Bengaluru was not yet Open Defecation Free.
Swachh Bharat Mission joint secretary Praveen Prakash had said after a review meeting with the state top bureaucrats, that the appalling hygiene on the city’s streets crossed it off the list of Open Defecation Free (ODF) cities.
“While neighbouring states are inching towards zero open defecation in the urban areas, Karnataka has only three among 28 cities and towns, which are ODF. These three cities are Mysuru, Mangaluru and Udupi,” he said. Bengaluru doesn’t even come close!
“When will Bengaluru have a Google map based toilet locator?” Prakash asked red-faced bureaucrats.
Prakash said there are about 500 cities and towns in the country which have achieved 100% ODF. Kerala is inching towards becoming 100 per cent ODF. Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai have achieved 100 per cent ODF.”
“Andhra Pradesh has 110 urban areas with zero ODF, 178 in Gujarat, 100 in Maharashtra and 40 in Tamil Nadu,” he added. The SBM director observed that the Union Government has set a target to have ODF India by 2019, adding that the Union Government is going to make segregation at source mandatory across India from June 5, 2018.
Explaining the rationale behind the Swachh Bharat cess, Prakash pointed out that the Union government has collected Rs 30,000 crore in three years, which boils down to Rs 10,000 crore per year.
“The annual expenditure on SBM is Rs 2,000 crore for urban areas and Rs 8,000 for rural areas. Apart from it, Rs 10,000 crore has been earmarked for treating and recycling sewage to stop pollution of water bodies,” he said.
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