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Sanitation 05 Dec 2014

Government acts fast on improving sanitation level in India

To achieve ‘Clean India’ target by 2019, Government is actively taking actions, dispatch essential guidelines for work implementation to state and Urban Local Bodies (ULB) to take immediate steps.

On a move to keep their five-years bid to modernize sanitation by installing toilets, the ministry of Urban Development has dispatched guidelines and other details of sanitation program for immediate implementation to state and Urban Local Bodies (ULB).

Confirming the news, Shankar Aggarwal, Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development assured, “All these projects have to be made at the Centre and state level to be implemented at the ULB (Urban Local Body) level. Already, our guidelines have been built and dispatched to all the ULB and state government, and very soon they would start working on those guidelines and would start doing the work.”

Aggarwal was addressing a conference to announce World Toilet Summit 2015, to be held in January next year.
Prior to this, the Secretary to Urban Development Ministry has assured that the Central Government has sanctioned Rs 65,000 crore for the construction of toilets at national level. Out of which, Rs 16,000 crore has been contributed from the government’s account while the remaining has been raised through funds from big corporates.

The government has set up a Swachh Bharat kosh or fund to collect contributions from individuals and organisations for the ongoing sanitation programme.

He further added, “There will be no dearth of finance. If needed, the government will sanction additional amount for the purpose.” Aggarwal also stressed on the date ‘2nd October, 2019’ as the set target to achieve 100 per cent clean and sanitized India.

Meanwhile, Anuraag Saxena, CEO, World Education Foundation and Jack Sim, Founder & Chairman, World Toilet Foundation, who were available though video link at the conference, assured, along with construction of toilets and other required sanitation arrangements, the government would try to change the mindset of people through education for using the toilets and develop infrastructure in urban areas.

Significantly, according to a World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and World Bank joint monitoring report of 2012, out of 1.1 billion people who practice open defecation, India accounts for nearly 600 million. The report further states that on an average, India loses 1,000 children below the age of five due to sanitation-related diseases

Sanitation and hygiene-related issues are trimming GDP growth of India and preventing the nation from reaching full potential, says reports.

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