'All North-Eastern states will be open defection free before October 2, 2019'
Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri while reviewing the progress of five flagship schemes for eight northeastern states announced that before October 2, 2019, the north-eastern states will be open defecation free.
Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, Secretary of Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs Durga Shankar and representatives of all north-eastern states attended the review meeting that took place on Saturday at Prajnja Bhavan here.
The implementation of PMAY for the urban segment, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation for Urban Transformation, Smart City Mission, Swatch Bharat Mission (Urban), Northeast Urban Development Program, Deendayal Antodaya Yojana National Urban Livelihood Mission were discussed during the two-day meet.
After the meeting, Puri appreciated the progress work of five flagship schemes in all the north-eastern states. He told media, "I find all the states of the north-eastern region are not only coming to terms with the implementation of the schemes but in some areas, we have excellent results."
Talking about the northeastern states of becoming Open Defecation Free, he said, "Nagaland was declared Open Defecation Free as of yesterday. Out of the eight states, four are Open Defecation Free already and three others will be Open Defecation Free by December 31 and one of the states will be by January 2019. It is good that eight to nine months before the schedule that is October 2nd, 2019 all the North-eastern states will be Open Defecation Free."
According to the Minister, the ODF cannot be total with just meeting the physical targets of construction of individual household toilets, or community and public toilets but until there are behavioural changes ODF scheme cannot be completed.
Puri praised Tripura for its outstanding performance in the construction of houses under the PMAY. He said, "In Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Tripura has done excellent work and we have sanctioned all demands for houses under the scheme in the state."
Briefing the media on the work done under the scheme, he said, "Out of the 2.30 lakh houses in the NE region overall 1.16 lakh houses have been grounded, construction of 17,403 have been completed and Tripura has grounded the maximum houses which is 63,723 houses and of these 15,717 have been completed. Tripura is followed by Assam which has 27180 house been grounded."
According to the Union Minister under the previous political dispensation JNNURM scheme which had ended on March 31 of 2017, 4874 houses under that is still under construction and some 2619 of the constructed homes are still lying vacant.
In presence of the Union Minister and Tripura Chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb, seven Northeastern cities had signed MoU for integrated command and control centres under the smart city project.
Regarding Smart City project, Puri said Sikkim made significant progress and others need to expedite the ambitious plan even it is a new concept.