Agartala, Jan 29: Union Minister of State for Drinking Water and Sanitation Ram Kripal Yadav today said the Centre would ensure that the country is open defecation free by 2019 while Tripura and Manipur would achieve the sanitation target by 2017.
"The national average in sanitation is 49 per cent but in Tripura it is already 70.25 per cent, while in Manipur the rate is 74.24 per cent. The NDA government at the Centre has decided to completely stop open defecation in the country by the year 2019," he told reporters here.
Yadav, who is on a two-day visit to Tripura to assess the sanitation programme, held a review meeting with the officials of Manipur and Tripura.
He also hailed Tripura for its success in supplying drinking water and sanitation. "There is not a single village in Tripura without a source of drinking water," he said.
Yadav said the Narendra Modi government was attaching topmost priority to the overall development of the northeast.
"This is the reason why (central) ministers have been regularly visiting states of north-east. What we aim is to better connectivity, electrification, drinking water supply, infrastructure development and finally, ensure overall development," he added.