Vijayawada: Andhra Pradesh today became the second state after Gujarat to declare all its municipalities Open Defecation Free (ODF) under the 'Swachh Bharat' initiative and earned an incentive of Rs 185.97 crore from the Centre.
"I compliment the AP government and Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu over this achievement. Earlier, the Centre gave Rs 131 crore to the state under the Swachch Bharat programme and today I am issuing orders granting another Rs 185.97 crore," Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said. "This is the first time that a state is being given such funds in one go and that is because of the tremendous progress AP has been making," he said addressing a programme organised by the state government in Tirupati via a video conference link.
At the Tirupati programme, the Chief Minister formally declared all 110 municipalities, 1,368 village panchayats and two revenue mandals (Nallajerla in West Godavari district and Pellakuru in SPS Nellore district) in the state as ODF. "This is a historic achievement," Venkaiah remarked. Under Swachh Bharat, 3.3 lakh individual toilets were built in rural areas of the state and another 1.6 lakh in urban areas in the last two years. Besides, 6,030 community toilets were also constructed.
On the occasion, the Chief Minister listed out various steps taken by his government towards the making of a Swachch Andhra Pradesh. "In the next two years, the entire state will become open-defecation free," he said. The Chief Minister administered a pledge on the occasion, making people commit themselves towards creating a Swachch Andhra Pradesh. Assembly Speaker Kodela Sivaprasada Rao, Ministers P Narayana, Bojjala Gopala Krishna Reddy, Chittoor MP N Siva Prasad, legislators and officials attended the event