Punjab water supply and sanitation minister Surjit Singh Rakhra launched the 'Swachh Bharat Mission - Gramin' in the district at a function organised by the water supply and sanitation department here on Wednesday.
Addressing the gathering on the occasion, Rakhra said that a sum of `1,000 crore would be spent under the mission, a scheme launched by Prime Minister Narindera Modi. Besides launching the cleanliness drive, it will also be ensured that every house in the state has a toilet, the basic need of every house to keep the environment clean, he said.
He said that the Union government had fixed a target of eliminating the problem of open defecation by 2017, but Punjab would meet this goal by the end of 2015.
He said the government was giving `15,000 each to the people below the poverty line to construct a toilet at home. Out of this amount, `9,000 were being given by the Union government and the `6,000 by the state government, the minister said.
He gave a call to all the representatives of gram panchayats, block samitis and zila parishads ensure that every house in their area has toilet.
Emphasising the importance of this mission in his address, Kamal Sharma, president, Punjab BJP, said that elimination of open defecation would decrease the risk of spread of deadly diseases besides help in creating clean and safe environment. He thanked Rakhra for launching this scheme in the district.
Earlier, local Akali MLA Joginder Singh Jindu appealed to the people of the area to keep their surroundings neat and clean.
Meanwhile, DPS Kharbanda, deputy commissioner, Ferozepur, said that with the construction of 43,000 toilets in the next one year, Ferozepur would achieve first position in the state.