Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister H.K. Patil has said that the State government was contemplating a policy to ensure the construction of bathrooms along with toilets in rural areas.

Addressing presspersons here on Sunday, he said that to enhance the living standards of rural people, it was essential to provide these basic facilities.

Claiming that bathrooms, like toilets, were also equally important for the development of the rural sector, Mr. Patil said that a decision with regard to mandating bathrooms along with toilets would be taken soon by the government.

“We have a scheme where the government offers monitory benefit for constructing individual toilets. We will try to prepare a scheme on similar lines for ensuring bathrooms also,” he said.

To a question, he said that a provision would be made to build separate bathrooms for men and women in public toilets being constructed in rural areas.

Potable water

With regard to providing potable water in rural areas constantly facing drinking water shortage, the Minister said that the government has take a decision to provide permanent drinking water facility to those villages where water was being supplied through tankers for the last two years.

Fluoride, arsenic

Stating that 5,285 villages had water sources contaminated by chemicals such as fluoride and arsenic, Mr. Patil said that a decision has been taken by the government to install water purifiers in all these villages to provide potable water.

“In this year itself, the government will install 1,000 water purifiers in critically fluoride-affected villages,” he said.

Regretting that over 30,000 anganwadi centres in the State did not have drinking water facility, the Minister said that all these centres would be provided with drinking water facility by the end of this year.

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