‘Toilets to be built in a year under NBA, MGNEGA scheme’
Although Udupi is considered a developed and literate district, as many as 25,237 households in rural areas do not have toilets.
According to a survey conducted under the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (earlier called Total Sanitation Campaign), as many as 7,758 households in Udupi taluk, 13,395 households in Kundapur taluk and 4,084 households in Karkala taluk, have no toilets. There are 2.26 lakh households in the rural areas of the district.
Acting on the survey, the zilla panchayat had decided to construct 8,000 toilets in each of the three taluks over the next three years..
But at a video-conference of the chief executive officers of zilla panchayats held four days back, the Principal Secretary of the Department of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) Vijay Bhaskar had directed Udupi zilla panchayat to complete the construction of all 25,237 toilets in the present fiscal.
Accordingly, the Udupi Zilla Panchayat has sent letters to the executive officers of all three taluk panchayats of Udupi, Karkala and Kundapur and the panchayat development officers (PDOs) of the respective gram panchayats to take up the project on priority.
Under the scheme, each household will get Rs. 9,200, of which Rs. 4,500 would come from the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) Scheme and the remainder would be given as subsidy under the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA).
According to Chief Executive Officer of the Udupi Zilla Panchayat S.A. Prabhakar Sharma, all the beneficiaries would have to get job cards under MGNREGA scheme. “The job card holders would be involved in the construction of toilets to their own houses. This would give them both – jobs under MGNREGA and also toilets,” he said.
Almost all of those benefitting under this project are either small farmers or below the poverty line (BPL) cardholders.
“Many people living by the seashore had got used to relieving themselves near the beaches. With some people open defecation has become a habit. Hence a concerted effort would be made not only to construct toilets but also change their mindset,” Mr. Sharma said.
The construction of toilets in the rural areas was essential to check the spread of diseases. Mr. Sharma said that he would personally supervise the implementation of the project.