The Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) Department in collaboration with Infosys Foundation will construct 10,000 toilets in Gulbarga district.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Infosys Foundation and RDPR Department will be signed on September 23. The programme is expected to be launched on October 2.
Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Jagadish Shettar, Principal Secretary Amita Prasad and Secretary (Panchayat Raj) Shalini Rajneesh and representatives of Infosys Foundation held discussions on the implementation of the project under the Total Sanitation Campaign.
Apart from construction of toilets, information, education and communication activities would also be given priority to change the mindset of the people and to ensure better operation and maintenance of toilets by below poverty line families in the district.
Ms. Amita Prasad told The Hindu that Mr. Shettar presided over a meeting to discuss the modalities of implementation of the project in Gulbarga district.
The department would utilise funds sanctioned under the sanitation campaign and workers registered under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act for construction of toilets. The foundation would provide funds. However, the cost-sharing details would be worked out soon, she said.
The percentage coverage of individual household latrines in Gulbarga district is 44. Under the sanitation campaign, the Government has to construct 56 lakh such latrines before 2017. So far, 38.80 lakh latrines have been built in 30 districts.
Department officials said that the main objective of the joint collaboration was to keep the region free from open defecation. The department was seeking the active participation of the corporate sector in rural development works taken by the Government, the officials said.
To energise the campaign, the Centre had been giving Nirmal Gram Puraskar to panchayats to achieve 100 per cent open-defecation-free gram panchayats. But no gram panchayats in Bellary, Chamarajanagar, Raichur and Gulbarga districts have been selected for this award.
A few studies pointed out that in most places, there had been no conscious or visible attempt on the part of campaign managers to develop a strategy to implement the programme in north Karnataka districts.