NEW DELHI: Rural sanitation has increased by 9.48 per cent in the past 15 months and 53,973 villages have been declared 'open defecation free' since the Swachch Bharat Mission was launched, government said today.
"Rural sanitation coverage has increased to 51.53 per cent as on March 31, 2016 in comparison to 42.05 per cent, when the Swachh Bharat Mission was launched on October 2, 2014.... Around 182.62 lakh toilets have been constructed including 10.72 lakh under MGNREGS as on March 31, 2016.
"13 districts, 161 blocks, 22,513 gram panchayats and 53,973 villages have been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) as of March 31, 2016," Rural Development Minister Birender Singh said.
He was speaking at a meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation here.
The meeting was attended by MPs Bhairon Prasad Mishra, Charanjeet Singh Rori, Hukumdev Narayan Yadav, Krishna Raj, Liladharbhai Khodaji Vaghela, Satya Pal Singh, Pankaj Chowdhary, Prabhubhai Nagarbhai Vasava, Rajendra Agarwal, Rangaswamy Dhruvanarayana, Riti Pathak, Shivaji Adhalrao Patil and Sunil Baliram Gaikwad from the Lok Sabha and Meghraj Jain and Oscar Fernandes from the Rajya Sabha.
Minister of State for Panchayati Raj Nihal Chand, Minister of State for Drinking Water and Sanitation Ram Kripal Yadav, Minister of State for Rural Development Sudarshan Bhagat and senior officials of the ministries of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, and officials from Chhattisgarh and Assam also attended the meeting.