India

Cleanest Indian state Sikkim free from open defecation

27 Sep 2016 | By Ramya

Sikkim has recently been declared the cleanest Indian state in the 2016 'Swachh Survekshan Gramin' report.

It has also become the first and only state in India free from open defecation.

Sikkim began its cleanliness drive over a decade before Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Swachh Bharat Mission.

Every village and town in the state make a perfect example for a 'Swachh City'.

In context: Sikkim - the cleanest Indian state!

IntroductionAbout Sikkim

Sikkim fully merged with India in 1975; it is the last state to give up its monarchy.

According to the 2011 India Census, the population of Sikkim is 607,888 - least populous Indian state.

It is the second-smallest state, occupying approximately 7,096 sq meter.

Gangtok is the capital of Sikkim; the state is a popular tourist destination because of its scenery, culture, and biodiversity.

13 Sep 2016Sikkim named the cleanest state

Sikkim was named the cleanest state in the 'Swachh Survekshan Gramin 2016' report with all four of its districts ranking among top ten districts in cleanliness and sanitation.

98.2% households in Sikkim are equipped with clean toilets.

All 6,10,577 people have high sanitary and hygienic latrines.

100% people use community/household toilet, according to the report released by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.

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27 Sep 2016Cleanest Indian state Sikkim free from open defecation

Sikkim's 13-year-old cleanliness campaign

Sikkim CM Pawan Chamling said, "When I see the Swachh Bharat campaign in such a big way across the country, I feel vindicated." The cleanliness campaign in Sikkim began in 2003. In 2008, the Indian Government bestowed Sikkim with Nirmal Rajya award, national cleanliness honor.

Cleanliness ModelPenalty provisions part of legislation

Sikkim's cleanliness model evolved over the decade to ensure that the people abide by rules.

Breaking rules fetch fines; a Rs.500 fine is levied if found urinating in a public area.

The penalty for smoking in public is Rs.200; these penalty provisions are a part of legislation passed by the assembly.

Authorities are putting in efforts to install more public toilets and drinking water.

Penalty for every violation

A Basilakha village resident Ganga Subba said: "Cleanliness here (Sikkim) is not because of our toilets alone. No one here uses plastics, no one smokes in public places, no one urinates in the open, and no one litters. There is a penalty for every violation."
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Bigger DevilPET bottles, a source of litter

Plastic is rarely spotted in Sikkim as it was banned over a decade ago.

The state is now facing a bigger problem due to PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles discarded by tourists.

Gangtok Mayor Shakti Singh Chowdhary said PET bottles have become "a source of litter".

The government may impose a complete ban on PET bottles, forcing tourists to drink water from public RO/water filters.

Sikkim Lok Sabha MP Prem Das Rai's statement

"Sikkim has clean food, clean air, and clean water. We are a fully organic state. So, there is clean living. Because there is clean living, people are healthy and happy. I can claim Sikkim is one of the happiest states in India."

01 Jan 2017Sikkim: India's first fully organic state

Sikkim became India's first fully organic state, with 75,000 hectares of agricultural land gradually converted to certified organic land; the land was converted based on guidelines issued by the National Programme for Organic Production.

It took 13 years to implement the measures, first mooted in 2003.

Also the Kanchenjunga National Park in west Sikkim was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.