The Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has adjudged Sikkim the cleanest state in India in terms of sanitation in rural areas, reported PTI. The latest Swachh Survekshan Gramin 2016 report saw Sikkim scoring a total of 98.2% in the ranking given on the basis of percentage of households that have toilets.
Four of its districts feature among top 10 clean districts of the country. Out of the 75 best performing districts of the country, West Sikkim district, East Sikkim district, South Sikkim district and North Sikkim district scored 96.4%, 93.7%, 93% and 90.7%, respectively, on a scale of 100.
The Sikkim government said that the state scored 100% in the ranking given on the basis of percentage of people using household/community toilet. All 6,10,577 inhabitants of Sikkim either use household or community toilets. Chief Minister Pawan Chamling said it is mandatory for all gram sabhas to take up sanitation “as a top priority”. The chief minister added that the Panchayati Raj Act has been amended to make it mandatory for the members of the Panchayati Raj institutions to construct toilets in their households, failing which, the nominations of members for the Panchayat elections will be cancelled.
Sikkim is also the only Indian state that has achieved open defecation free status in the country so far, after Chamling launched the sanitation campaign in 1999, according to ANI. Prime Minister Narendra Modi handed over a certificate to this effect to Chamling during the 65th Plenary session of the North East Council on May 27, 2016, in Shillong.