Mechanism being evolved to prevent malpractices: Patil
The State government plans to provide individual toilets to all rural households in the next five years even as it has set a target to provide at least 6 lakh toilets this financial year.
Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister H.K. Patil told The Hindu on Sunday that the target of 6 lakh was the largest in all these years while nearly 54 lakh families need to be provided with the facility in the next five years.
While his department claimed that about 44 lakh families, of the nearly 79 lakh families in rural areas of the State, had been provided toilets, it was found by a survey that 19 lakh families had got toilets only on paper.
The Minister said he was now evolving a mechanism to prevent such malpractices.
In a written reply to BJP MLC Y.A. Narayanaswamy in the Legislative Council recently, Mr. Patil said it was mandatory to provide household toilets to 10 per cent of the families in every gram panchayat limits a year according to the Panchayat Raj Act.
Till, 2011-12, only below the poverty line families were given subsidy for constructing toilets. The norms were relaxed in April 2012 to cover “restricted” above the poverty line families and subsidy was enhanced from Rs. 3,700 to Rs. 9,200.
Of the Rs. 9,200, the Union government provides Rs. 3,200, the State government Rs. 1,500 and the remaining amount will be met by giving wages for 26 days of manual labour under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).
The department would introduce electronic fund transfer system to directly remit the subsidy amount to the beneficiary’s account.
Karnataka occupies the eighth position in the country with 53 per cent coverage in rural sanitation, according to Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan data. Kerala, with 87 per cent coverage, occupies the first place while Jammu and Kashmir, with 31 per cent coverage, stands last.
Among districts in Karnataka, Bidar, Gulbarga, Raichur and Ramanagaram lag behind others with coverage up to 24 per cent while Dakshina Kannada has a coverage of 75 per cent followed by Uttara Kannada, Udupi, Mysore, Shimoga and Bangalore Urban with coverage ranging between 51 per cent and 75 per cent. The situation in other districts is termed as “improving”.