Patna, Sep 21

Union Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation S.S. Ahluwalia on Thursday expressed concern over a large number of people in Bihar still practicing open defecation and that not a single district has so far been declared ODF (Open Defecation Free) in the state.

"Bihar is at the bottom as far as open defecating is concerned. In the country nearly 67 per cent people have become ODF but in Bihar the number is 332.5 per cent. The state's performance is not good," Ahluwalia, who was here on a visit, said at an official function.

He has appealed to the state government agencies and BJP leaders and workers to join the campaign against open defecation in the state.

"Till date 192 districts across the country have become ODF but not a single district of Bihar has been declared ODF. It is a matter of concern," he added.

Ahluwalia said he was informed by state government officials that few districts would be declared ODF in Bihar from December 2017 to mid 2018. He admitted that building a large number of toilets in Bihar is a big challenge.

In Bihar, nearly 1.4 crore toilets still remain to be constructed.

It is a different matter that the state government has decided to achieve an ODF Bihar by October 2, 2019, under the Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin (SBM-G).

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