The Government will soon launch a major programme to build a record number of 40 lakh individual latrines in rural areas, entailing an expenditure of Rs. 10,000 each under National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS).
Announcing this at media conference here on Thursday, Rural Development & NREGS Minister Dokka Manikyavara Prasada Rao, said this target was fixed for the next four years based on a survey on the sanitary facilities presently available in rural areas.
Initially, construction of 10 lakh toilets would be taken up this year. Modalities to implement the programme for which the government issued an order already, were being worked out. The Minister said the NREGS was a success in Andhra Pradesh and that it had arrested migration from villages for gainful employment and improved their lot.
A survey by CRISIL, a credit rating agency, showed that it had enhanced their purchasing power which was evident from the fact they enjoyed better nutrition levels while their children were going for higher education.
It ensured general rise in wages for agriculture labour. So much that the State had emerged as role model in the scheme, he claimed.
Over 1.25 crore job cards have been issued so far under the scheme on which a massive sum of Rs. 22,512 core is spent since 2005, with Rs. 17,000 crore out of this going to beneficiaries as wages.
The cumulative impact was that 34 lakh acres was made fit for cultivation, road connectivity (25,048 km ) provided to 17,388 villages, 18,161 irrigation tanks and feeder channels excavated.
Answering questions, he said 3,892 employees had been dismissed from service in connection with 162 cases booked for funds misappropriation of funds (Rs 59 crore).