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Kamrup Metro State’s first open defecation-free district
PRANJAL BHUYAN
 GUWAHATI, March 7 - Kamrup Metro district has become the first district in the State to achieve the target set under the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) and is now poised to become the first open defecation free (ODF) district in Assam.

 Speaking to The Assam Tribune today, Kamrup Metro Deputy Commissioner Dr M Angamuthu said the district has become the first one in Assam and the entire North East to complete the targeted programme under the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) before the targeted schedule of March 31.

“As of today (March 7) the total number of individual household latrines constructed in the district is 25,114 as against a target of 25,114 under the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin). A total of 22 gaon panchayats have been covered under four development blocks – Dimoria, Chandrapur, Rani (part) and Bezera (part),” he said.

The total cost involved in fulfilling the target was around Rs 24 crore. The areas covered under it fall within the Legislative Assembly segments of Dispur, Guwahati West and Jalukbari.

There is a district-level sanitation and monitoring committee headed by the DC to monitor the progress of the Swachh Bharat Mission with the Executive Engineer of Public Health and Engineering Department (PHED) as Member Secretary. The DC said that the Chief Minister and the State Chief Secretary are directly monitoring the work regularly.

“Now the district administration intends to do more to focus on the Guwahati city areas under the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban). To achieve that, there is coordinated effort by the PHE department with local representatives and various stakeholders like NGOs,” said Dr Angamuthu.

He added that along with construction of toilets, now the district administration and PHE department intend to inculcate behavioural changes and better sanitation and hygiene measures amongst residents.

“Behavioural changes are a very important component of the programme. Otherwise, there will be no permanent change in the attitude of the targeted masses,” said the DC. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the Swachh Bharat Mission two years ago with two distinct components targeting both the urban and rural areas.

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