The Bengal Government under Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has been placing a lot of effort on achieving an open defecation-free (ODF) status for Bengal.
Till financial year 2016-17, Bengal has achieved almost 90 per cent (89.63%) of its ODF target, which is the second highest in the country, constructing 1,35,94,762 toilets. Not just that, of the number of toilets constructed, almost 12 per cent (11.8%) have been constructed in Bengal alone, which is also the second highest in the country.
Data from the Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation shows that 52,03,490 toilets for family dwellings, which is almost 40 per cent (38.28%) of the number of toilets constructed since 1999, were built during the four financial years from 2013-14 to 2016-17 – that is, from the time Mission Nirmal Bangla was adopted on November 19, 2013 (celebrated as World Toilet Day) by the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress Government.
Not just that, this 52.03 lakh achieved during these four financial years has made Bengal the number one in the number of toilet units constructed for family dwellings (considering separately, number one during 2013-14 and 2014-15 and number two during 2015-16 and for 2016-17).
Nadia district has been the flag-bearer of the open defecation-free (ODF) movement, becoming, on April 30, 2015, the first district in the country to get the ODF status. Among the first four districts of the country be declared ODF, three were from Bengal.
Till date, five districts of Bengal have achieved the ODF status – Nadia, Hooghly, North 24 Parganas, Purba Medinipur and Cooch Behar. Two more are going to be declared as ODF districts soon – South 24 Parganas and Bardhaman.