Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: While only 13.25 lakh toilets have been built under the Centrally-sponsored Total Sanitation Campaign, a project to provide toilets in rural areas, the State is likely to meet its target of providing toilets in schools and anganwadis in the next few months, said K. Jairaj, Principal Secretary of Department of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) on Wednesday.

“Our reach has been only 25 per cent across the State. But we will meet our target of building 36,000 toilets in schools and 24,000 in anganwadis by June,” he said. As of now, 34,000 toilet units have been built in schools and 22,000 in anganwadis.

Mr. Jairaj was speaking on “Sanitation in urban and rural areas” at a workshop organised by the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) as part of World Water Day-2008 celebrations. Under the Total Sanitation Campaign, the State has to build 53 lakh toilets by 2012. It provides an incentive of Rs. 1,200 a person for building a toilet in that individual’s house. The target this year is four lakh toilets.

Mr. Jairaj said the reason for the poor performance for the State under the campaign was because of “the mindset of the people, especially in North Karnataka.”

While the reach has been over 100 per cent in many districts in coastal Karnataka, it ranges between 4 per cent (in Koppal) and 7 per cent (in Gulbarga), he said. Large sections do not opt for sanitation units because they do not want toilets inside their houses for “sociological and historical reasons”, Mr. Jairaj said.

Water supply

While the BWSSB supplies about 100 litres a person a day on an average, the department seems to find it difficult to supply even half as much the water supply. “We have about 56,000 habitations to supply water and we spend about Rs. 600 crore a year. We are trying to provide 40 litres a person daily in rural areas,” Mr. Jairaj said.