Fri, Dec 2, 2016 | updated 11:28 PM IST

Sikkim adjudged cleanest state in terms of rural sanitation

Updated: Sep 13, 2016 12:49 IST

New Delhi [India], Sept.13 (ANI): Sikkim has been adjudged as the cleanest among 26 Indian states in terms of sanitation in rural areas.

Its four districts have been ranked among top ten districts in the country in terms of sanitation and cleanliness as per the latest "Swachh Survekshan Gramin 2016" report released by Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.

Sikkim scored the highest ranking of 98.2 per cent on a scale of 100 in the ranking given on the basis of percentage of households having sanitary toilets according to the report released by Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation .

According to report, West Sikkim district, East Sikkim district, South Sikkim district and North Sikkim district scored the ranking of 96.4 (ninty six point four),93.7(ninty three point seven),93.0(ninty three) and 90.7(ninty point seven) respectively on the scale of 100 marks under Swachh Survekshan 2016 ranking among 53 best performing districts in plains states and 22 best performing districts in North East and Special Category states in the country selected by the ministry.

All 6,10,577 inhabitants in Sikkim are using household or community toilets.

Chief Minister Pawan Chamling launched the community-led sanitation campaign in 1999 for achieving full sanitation in 7,096 sq km area of the state, covering both rural and urban areas in all four districts

sikkim is the only state which has achieved open defecation free status in the country so far .

All the 446 villages in four districts and 16 sub divisions of the state have been declared as open defecation free villages as per guidelines of the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation said Sikkim Chief Minister Chamling. He added that a certificate to this effect was awarded by Prime Minister Narender Modi during the 65thPlenary session of the North East Council on May 27, 2016 at Shillong, Meghalaya.

The state has received two national awards for actively promoting the Swacch Bharat Mission, including the Prime Minister's award for excellence in public administration, said Chamling.

He added that 2,682 schools have been covered under the total sanitation programme to benefit girl children and boys in government schools.

Sikkim is the first Nirmal Rajya in the country, to have achieved 100 percent physical coverage in in rural Households, schools, aganwadis, institutional and community toilets.

Former president Pratibha Devisingh Patil conferred the Nirmal Rajya Award on Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling on December 8, 2008 for successful implementation of a demand-driven and people-centered sanitation programme.

Chief Minister Chamling said that it is mandatory for all gram sabhas to take up sanitation as a top priority on their agenda. (ANI)