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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: If all goes as per plan, Odisha will become an open defecation-free state by December 2018, informed Parameswaran Iyer, who is currently leading the Swachh Bharat Mission for the Government of India.

Iyer, who held discussions with senior officials of Odisha government and had a courtesy meeting with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, stated that adequate assistance will be provided to the State for achieving its target of bringing a behavioural change in the mindset of people.

"Today, we had a good discussion with the officials of Odisha government and we hope that the State will be declared open defecation-free state by end of this year," said Iyer.

Odisha Chief Secretary, Aditya Prasad Padhi on the other hand informed that the State's toilet coverage was at a mere 10 percent when the Swachh Bharat Mission was launched in October 2014.

At present, Odisha's total toilet coverage has reached nearly 55 percent in the last four years with two districts- Deogarh and Jharsuguda already been declared open defecation-free districts.

"We are going to declare four more districts open defecation-free shortly and have given a specific deadline to all district collectors in this regard," said Padhi.

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