Chief Minister increases component to Rs.2,500

Perturbed by the fact that 73.3 per cent of rural households in the State are still resorting to open defecation, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has hiked the State's contribution to families willing to construct a toilet by Rs.1,500.

Making a suo motu statement in the Assembly on Thursday, Ms. Jayalalithaa said under the Total Sanitation Project, the Centre was granting Rs.2,200 and the State Rs.1,000, thereby limiting the beneficiary's contribution to Rs.300.

As the total amount of Rs.3,500 was found to be inadequate, the government, acceding to the request for increase in the amount, enhanced the State's component from Rs.1,000 to Rs.2,500. “This will facilitate creation of clean villages.”

The Chief Minister said she had introduced the ‘clean village' concept during her previous term when awards were presented to villages achieving total sanitation. However, the next government had failed to implement the project. After returning to power, she sanctioned Rs.170 crore for putting to use the 12,763 integrated sanitary complexes for women in villages which were left in a neglected state for the past five years.

Officials say the new announcement has to be viewed in the light of the Houselisting and Housing Census Data 2011 released by the Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner. Most of the household indicators in the survey placed the State above the national average confirming its progressive status, except sanitation.

While the national average is 49.8 per cent in the case of open defecation, the State's figure is 45.7 per cent. In rural areas, a staggering 73.3 per cent, nearly three in four households, are resorting to open defecation, prompting the Chief Minister to enhance the State's contribution to improve sanitation in villages.


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