Kolkata: In its effort to make West Bengal open defecation free by August 2019, the state government will declare south Dinajpur as ODF on Monday. The Districts are going to earn the title of ‘Nirmal Zila’ soon.
Earlier the six districts are declared – Howrah, Paschim Medinipur, Birbhum, Murshidabad, Malda and Dakshin Dinajpur. The eight existing ODF districts are Nadia, Hooghly, Purba Medinipur, Purba Bardhaman, Paschim Bardhaman, North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas and Cooch Behar.
Subrata Mukherjee, state Panchayats and Rural Development minister along with Dibyendu Sarkar, Commissioner, Panchayats and Rural Development department will be present. The run-up to the declaration includes the district administration first doing the self-assessment and sending the report to the Panchayats and Rural Development department which in turn, conducts a cross-check and if satisfied, the district is declared as ODF district by the department.
By March-end, 12 out of 23 districts in Bengal will be ODF districts. Attempts have been made to declare the remaining districts as ODF by end of this year though the deadline is December, 2019.
All the District Magistrates took a pledge and accordingly, plans were chalked out and work was carried out on a war footing. Nirmal Bangla is another successful project of the state government. In all the districts, teams have been set up to request people not to defecate in the open. Along with this, a massive campaign has been carried out encouraging people to use toilets and look after their maintenance.