Seeking to give a big boost to sanitation in rural areas, Planning Commission has allocated a Rs.3,6000 crores for the 12th Five Year Plan, up from Rs.7800 Crore in the previous Plan.

Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh, who is also in-charge of the Ministry for Drinking Water and Sanitation, said the Planning Commission’s decision “reflects the priority UPA government places on sanitation in rural India“.

Noting that 60 per cent of open defecation in the world are in India and “it is a matter of continuing anguish, shame for all citizens”, Mr. Ramesh said that the government has vowed to achieve total sanitation in the country in the next 10 years.

He was briefing the media after the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs today gave the nod for more than doubling the amount for construction of individual household latrines from existing Rs.4600 to nearly 10,000 rupees and also scrapped the distinction of BPL/APL families to achieve total sanitation target in 10 years.

The total sanitation campaign will now be known as Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan, Mr. Ramesh said.

Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Punjab have demanded fair allocation for achieving the sanitation goals, Mr. Ramesh said.

At present, out of Rs.3400 allocated for individual toilets, the Centre gives Rs.2100, each State’s share is Rs.1000 and Rs.300 comes from the beneficiaries, while Rs.1200 is leveraged through MGNREGA works as was approved last year.

But after the Cabinet approval today, the Centre has to dole out Rs.3200, the state Rs.1400 and families have to provide Rs.900 while MGNREGA funds will be to the tune of Rs.4500.