Punjab water supply and sanitation minister Surjit Singh Rakhra has said that the government was strengthening its drive to provide sanitation facilities to all villages. He claimed that government looked forward to ensuring 100% toilet access by 2017.
He expressed these views during an awareness seminar on Clean India Mission (Swachh Bharat Abhiyan) at the Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Engineering College.
He claimed that the state government had constructed toilets for 6.25 lakh rural families under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, which has set the elimination of open defecation as one of its objectives. He said that only 37% houses in villages have a water supply connection and remaining households should also apply. He added free water connections will be provided to all houses under various water schemes of the state government.
Deputy commissioner Kamaldeep Singh Sangha said the administration had identified 12,570 houses which do not have toilets in the district.
"The government will provide a grant of Rs 15000 to each of these houses to construct toilet, which will collectively would cost around Rs 20 crore to the government. The grant would be provided in two installments of Rs 6,000 and Rs 9,000 each," he added.
During the seminar, Rakhra urged the women to come forward and resolve to ensure a Clean India. "Woman have great power. They must come forward to help ensure that India and Punjab is clean," he said.
He added that awareness campaigns were also being run by the district administration to make people aware about the harmful effects of open defecation.
He said in order to maintain transparency in the execution of the project, directions have been issued to click the photographs of each phase of construction of toilets in all houses.