Odishatv Bureau

New Delhi: Sikkim has been adjudged as the cleanest State on the condition of sanitation in rural areas of 26 States, while Odisha has ranked 24th , according to a survey by National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO). The report of the survey, conducted last year was released by Union Rural Development minister Narendra Singh Tomar in New Delhi on Thursday.

The north-eastern State scored 98.2 per cent on a scale of 100. Kerala, Mizoram, Himachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Haryana, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Meghalaya scored 96.4, 95.8, 90.1, 88.6, 87.9, 86.1, 80.2 and 73 per cent respectively, the report said.

The States which have not fared well in the survey include, Jharkhand (17.7), Chhattisgarh (19.9) , Odisha (24.8), Madhya Pradesh (24.8), Uttar Pradesh (27.3), Bihar (29.8), Rajasthan (35.8), Tamil Nadu (39.2), Karnataka (44.3) and Jammu and Kashmir (45.9).

The NSSO conducted the survey in May-June 2015 covering 73,176 households in 3,788 villages across the country. The ranking given on the basis of percentage of households having sanitary toilets and using them (either household or community toilets).

Asked about the NSSO reports that non-BJP or NDA ruled states did better in 2015, Tomar said the campaign "is for all".

"It does not matter for the central government which party is ruling in which state. The campaign is for the entire country and for all," he said.

When asked about his home state Madhya Pradesh securing 24th spot in the Ministry's list and 23 in NSSO's list, Tomar said being a minister he is responsible for the entire country and the government is taking efforts to keep the campaign active across India.

Asked about states like Bihar faring poorly in the NSSO survey, Tomar said the central government is speaking to state governments on giving priority to the Swachh Bharat Mission.

He said the Ministry is also organising meeting with sarpanches from different states to bring them on board to ensure the campaign is successful.

The government intends to make India open defecation free (ODF) by 2019, coinciding with 150th birth anniversary of Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi.