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Funds for building toilets to be hiked: Jairam

Delhi,Environment/Wildlife,Health/Medicine, Wed, 25 Apr 2012 IANS

New Delhi, April 25 (IANS) Government is mulling increasing the allocation for constructing toilets under the total sanitation programme, from present Rs.3,500 to Rs.9,900 per toilet, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said Wednesday.


Speaking at an event organised by Unicef Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme, Ramesh stressed that passion was needed to make the total sanitation programme a success.


"A 'junoon' (passion) is needed to make the total sanitation programme successful," he said.


The minister said the amount allocated for construction of toilets was low, and the government had been ignorant of the fact so far.


"Those who allocate the funds in Delhi never use the toilets that are constructed, otherwise they would know that the toilets are constructed only on paper... we give them Rs.3,500 and expect them to build a toilet," he said.


The government is working on increasing the allocation to Rs.9,900, of which Rs.5,400 will come from the total sanitation programme and the rest Rs.4,500 will be covered under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).


"The labour component will be covered under the NREGA (National Rural Employment Guarantee Act)," he said, adding that funds were not a constraint.


The minister also said that the fact that we still cannot provide toilets to all the women and girls in the country is a matter of shame.


"The fact that we cannot provide toilets to 60 percent women should be seen as a matter of shame... unless we are ashamed and angry, nothing can be done," he said.


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