Government to hike funds for building toilets from Rs 2,200 to Rs 9,900 per household

New Delhi, April 25, 2012:  Noting that the amount allocated for construction of toilets in rural areas was very low, the government today said it would hike the fund under the total sanitation programme from Rs 2,200 to Rs 9,900 per household. "

The total Rs 2,200 assistance given by the state and the Central government is meagre to build a toilet...that is one of the reasons why the politicians and the civil servants who work on sanitation in New Delhi never use the toilets that they have given assistance for...and we expect people to use these toilets," Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said at a regional conference organised by the UNICEF here. "We are very niggard in our assistance. Now, we are revisiting all these norms and very soon we will be notifying the changes," the minister, who also holds the portfolio of Drinking Water and Sanitation, said.

The government is working on increasing the allocation to Rs 9,900 per household, of which Rs 5,400 will come from the Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) and the rest Rs 4,500 will be covered under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGA), he said. The convergence is being done to make sure that better community facility can be created using the funds of rural job scheme and sanitation programme, Ramesh said. The minister said it is a shame that the country still cannot provide basic toilet facilities to 60 per cent women. "Nothing can be more shameful for us. Unless we develop a sense of shame, a sense of anger, we are not going to do anything...It is going to be business as usual," he said. (Source: PTI)

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