BHUBANESWAR: People in Puri beware! You may be caught red handed while defecating in the open. The Puri district administration has launched a unique drive to end open defecation and boost the district’s performance in Swachh Bharat Mission that aims at creating a clean India.Several teams comprising officials and PRI members have been formed to visit both urban and rural areas to make people aware about negative effects of open defecation.
As part of the strategy, a team of officials led by Collector Aravind Agarwal on Tuesday visited Kalyanpur gram panchayat in Delanga block of the coastal district and motivated people to use toilets.
The team met more than 100 people while they were returning after defecating in the open and made them take oath on the name of Lord Jagannath to say no to the age-old practice. The officials greeted people with roses who were found using toilets.
“We have planned to make the campaign in carrot and stick method. People will be rewarded for using toilets and those who are not using the loos will be counselled,” said Agarwal.Since Puri has a special mention in the map of religious places in the country, open defecation and unhygienic environment have always been a cause of concern.
The Government has also initiated measures for a clean Puri which is one of the ten iconic sites selected for the special cleanliness drive under the Prime Minister’s Swachh Bharat Mission. During the surprise drive, the officials also caught two persons who had availed `12,000 each for the second time to set up toilet and built godowns instead.
“I have instructed the officials to recover the amount from them and find out if others have also fraudulently availed the assistance,” Agarwal added. Since the district has been able to complete only 55 per cent toilets so far, the Collector hoped they would achieve 100 per cent target by end of this year.