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Kerala set to get Open Defecation Free status today

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala will be formally declared an Open Defecation-Free state on the Kerala Formation Day on Tuesday (November 1). Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will make the declaration at a function to be held at central stadium here at 4 p.m. Kerala, the third state in the country to attain the status after Sikkim and Himachal Pradesh, did so by constructing 1,74,720 toilets within three months. It was a joint effort of the Suchithwa Mission, Jalanidhi, local bodies and voluntary and non-governmental organisations.

Thrissur was the first district to become ODF, followed by Kannur and Kozhikode. In Idukki, the last district to join the list, a group of engineering students set up toilets in the remote tribal village of Edamalakkdy, which received a special mention from Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his monthly radio programme 'Man Ki Baat' on Sunday. The maximum number of toilets was constructed in Palakkad - 23,075, followed by Alappuzha - 14,985 and Wayanad - 13,777. All the 941 grama panchayats were already declared as ODF.

Considering the remarkable achievement in implementing the centre's scheme, the state even invited the prime minister to the function on Tuesday, but he could not turn up. Minister for Rural Development and Sanitation Narendra Singh Tomar would attend the meeting. The campaign, which was part of centre's Swachh Bharat Mission, would benefit about 8 lakh people. Ernakulam had attained ODF status on October 16. In the first phase, all the 82 panchayats were declared ODF.

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