Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has set a March 31 deadline for construction of toilets in every home in the state and threatened to sit on a dharna and hunger strike is the target was not achieved.
“I will sit on a silent dharna. I will also observe a day-long fast. At least then you (people) will show some pity (on me) and build toilets,” Naidu said, terming sanitary latrine a fundamental and birthright.
He set March 31 as the deadline for all households in the state to have individual sanitary latrines (ISL) so as to make AP completely open defecation-free (ODF).
“My aim is to have a Swachh Andhra Pradesh, a healthy Andhra Pradesh. I have taken up this task as a spirited movement,” the Chief Minister said, addressing a `Janmabhoomi’ meeting at Itchapuram, bordering Odisha, late last evening.
`Janmabhoomi’ is a mass contact programme of the TDP- led government.
“If you don’t build a toilet…if you don’t have self- esteem I will come to your village. I will visit your house. I will spend day and night till you all build toilets and only then return to Amaravati (the state capital),” Naidu said, driving home the need for every household to have a lavatory.
“The state s prestige is being lost and your health is getting affected (due to lack of ISL). Let us all think of a Swachh Andhra Pradesh,” the Chief Minister said.
He exhorted people to undertake “aatmagourava deeksha” (resolve for self-respect) to achieve this.
Naidu said every caste and religion should propagate the need for toilets. “If the need for toilets is propagated in temples, churches and mosques, people’s belief will increase. It will contribute to the success of the programme.”
Of the 13 districts in the state, six had already achieved 100 per cent toilet construction, he said. “The other seven (four in Rayalaseema and three in north coastal Andhra) are yet to accomplish this.”
Referring in particular to Srikakulam district, where he addressed the gathering, the Chief Minister said of the 4,09,204 households only 1,71,624 had toilets now.
“By March 31, I should not hear that there is any village or a house without a toilet. If there is no space for building ISL, community toilets should be built,” the Chief Minister told the district collector.