‘Draft of the proposed Bill is almost ready’
The State government is planning to enact a legislation to prevent open defecation and to ensure good sanitation.
The move is aimed at guaranteeing sanitary facilities and enabling people, especially rural women, to lead a life of dignity.
The government’s move comes in the backdrop of the scheme that provides financial assistance for constructing public and individual toilets not yielding the desired results.
Although a huge amount of money has been spent on providing public and individual toilets, the facilities end up being unutilised or become neglected owing to lack of maintenance.
According to sources, the draft of what will be known as ‘Karnataka Sanitary Facilities Guarantee Bill’ is almost ready. Through the proposed legislation, the government intends to provide people the “right to sanitary facilities” by ensuring that every eligible applicant has the right to access public toilets and the right of getting a toilet constructed on the premises in his or her ownership or possession.
Sources said that the draft would list the responsibilities and duties of various local bodies with regard to ensuring sanitary facilities to the public and guidelines for facilitating a suitable environment for the eligible applicants coming forward to get toilets constructed.
They said that the through the Bill, the State government may propose to provide financial assistance to any family having annual income of less than Rs. 1.25 lakh, any single woman or a woman with a minor or disabled dependents living independently, any person with physical disabilities living independently or any senior citizen to get toilets constructed.
Right to penalise
According to sources, the draft Bill may fix the responsibility of constructing toilets — individual or public — on the local authority. At the same time, the local authority may be given the right to impose penalty on those failing to adhere to the provisions of the proposed legislation.
The local authorities were also likely to get the right to prohibit open defecation and urination in any area under their jurisdiction and also impose penalty on violators.