When it comes to ensuring quality life and equality in sanitation, Punjab makes it to the top. It is a proud privilege for the state to become first state in the country to become ‘open defecation state’, after having given the facility of public toilets to 75 percent of its population.
To take it forward the government has launched a project to ensure each and every house in villages have their own toilets which would in any case maintain a check on the open defecation.
The plan is to have 2.68 lakh latrines would come up in 4000 villages, which is in addition to 24,585 such latrines which have already come up in 749 villages. 8 lakh latrines would come up in the next 2 years, which is the target of the government. It would cost Rs 1200 crore for construction of these latrines and this would ensure there is no open defecation in the rural belts of the state.
It was two years back that the state government had announced it will launch a project to ensure each house in the village has a toilet. Today it is close to becoming a reality.
The Punjab government is said to have come up with over 33 lakh toilets under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan for over 7.92 lakh families who will get the privilege of using their own toilets, for which the government has spent over Rs 937 crore.
In the next two years the state government plans shelling out Rs 1200 crore, a decision to which effect was taken by the chief minister Parkash Singh Badal.
The government has also successfully implemented its other rural government project to ensure 100 percent water connections. The deputy commissioners of the respective villages have also been directed to ensure rural toilets are constructed on priority in their respective areas.
Rising Numbers: There has been an increase in the population of rural areas if we compare it using the help of 2011 statistics. This has further necessitated the need to provide them with proper toilets. The increase has been to 3.3 million rural households from 2.7 million which comes to 72 percent increase in the population in rural areas of the state. The government has hence launched this scheme which is a move to develop
Touching base with People:
To make this scheme a success in the state, the government has ensured it directly involves the general public which can go a long way in checking open defecation. In all, 166 Panchayats have won Nirmal Gram Puraksar of the centre. An interesting facet of the scheme is how photographs of the beneficiaries standing by the constructed toilet are uploaded on the union government website ensure transparency or anything. Meanwhile over 18,000 such photographs have been used so far on the site. The government is also
Number of rural households: 3.3 Million
Access to toilets: 3.3 Million.
Women using Toilets: 87 percent