Union Minister for Rural Development and Drinking Water and Sanitation Shri Nitin Gadkari today called for practical approach to achieve the goal of sanitation for all by 2019. Speaking at a National Conference on Sanitation and Drinking Water here, the Minister said, the current allocation of Rs10,000 per toilet in rural areas is insufficient and soon the amount will be increased to achieve the real target. Lamenting that even after 67 years of Independence, 60 percent people in India defecate in open, Shri Gadkari said that the dream project of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to build Swachh Bharat by 2019 will be executed in a mission mode. He also emphasized that massive funds will be mobilized for this purpose under the leadership of the Prime Minister.
Shri Gadkari asked the State Ministers of Drinking water and Sanitation attending the conference to come up with practical and area specific approach to toilets and assured them that funds will not be a constraint.
He called for quality works so that toilets could last upto thirty to forty years and laid emphasis on suitable low cost technology for that purpose. To address the problem of drinking water and especially in 17,000 those villages having problems like arsenic, excessive fluoride, heavy metals and other pollutants, the Minister said that a new scheme will be launched in the next two months to address this issue. The Minister also called for timely flow of funds and e-transfer of money for speedy execution of projects.
Speaking on the occasion, the Minister of State for Drinking Water and Sanitation, Shri Upendra Kushwaha said that Prime Minister Shri Modi has personally expressed anguish in his Independence Day speech and expressed the commitment of his Government to achieve ‘Swachh Bharat’ by 2019 as a tribute on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, by eliminating the unhealthy practice of Open Defecation.
He also reminded the State Ministers that Shri Modi also directed that by 15th August 2015, every school should have separate toilets for boys and girls. He said that, in the last 60 years only 32% rural families in 2011 (as per census figures) and 40 %.( NSSO figures of 2013) have rural toilets. Shri Kushwaha informed that more than 2 crore families who were given subsidy under the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan do not have functional toilets today. Later the Union Ministers heard specific complaints and suggestions from the State Ministers and senior officials of the states attending the conference.