Stumbling towards sustainable sanitation
The challenge will be in ensuring that open defecation-free villages and cities are truly ODF, but more crucially that they remain so
With 2018 under way, 30% of India’s 4,386 cities and a quarter of the 685 districts have been verified as being free of open defecation by the urban and rural arms of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Mission), respectively. Over 4 million toilets have been built across cities, and close to 60 million toilets across the rural landscape since the mission’s launch on 2 October 2014. Administrators of another 122 districts and 509 cities are awaiting verification of their status, and others find themselves pressed for time. Many states have set themselves steeper individual targets, challenging their already overworked front-line bureaucracies.
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