Union minister Hardeep Puri slams Bengal govt for not achieving ODF status


Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs (Independent Charge) Hardeep Singh Puri took aim at the West Bengal government for not achieving open defecation-free (ODF) status.

Puri, who was speaking at the 2019 Safaigiri Awards, made a veiled reference to the tussle between the Mamata Banerjee government and the Centre over various issues including the Swachh Bharat mission.

While PM Modi will be declaring India open defection-free today at the Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad, 40 urban local bodies (ULBs) of West Bengal have not been certified.

Chiding the West Bengal government for not achieving the objective, Hardeep Puri said, “Only one state is left in being ODF. This is just not just an issue of the Swachh Bharat mission…that state has been somewhat reluctant to embrace central programmes.”

He, however, said that West Bengal has assured it will be open defecation-free by December.

Making a reference to the fact that Bangladesh has achieved universal sanitation coverage (access to toilets) while India hasn’t, Hardeep Puri said, “There is a state in close proximity of Bangladesh when it achieves its target by December, we will also achieve 100 per cent sanitation coverage. Bangladesh’s challenge is not equivalent to India.”

Hardeep Puri also highlighted the behavioural change that PM Modi’s Swachh Bharat mission has brought in making India more environmentally conscious.

The Union minister also awarded the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance the title of the Best Institute for Sanitation Skills for its work in training more than 6,000 people at its ‘toilet college’ in Rishikesh.

Source By Indiatoday


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