Puducherry facing an uphill task on sanitation scheme

Official associated with the project of building toilets in Puducherry blames the delay on completing the target on operational and ownership related issues.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

If the territorial administration has to adhere to its self-set goal of declaring the Union Territory as Open Defecation Free (ODF) region by October this year, the government might have to pull up its socks with hardly half of the target being achieved till now.

The government had set an ambitious target of building 45,989 toilets in rural areas by October this year under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan scheme launched by the Union Government. So far, the territorial administration has been able to build only 1,774 household toilets.

For the efficient implementation of the scheme, the administration had divided the region into three blocks — Villianur, Ariyankuppam, and Karaikal. As per statistics available, 20,893 toilets have to be built in Villianur, 16,720 in Ariyankuppam, and 8,376 in Karaikal.

As of now, only 9,281 applications were issued, of which 5,081 were in Karaikal.

Of the total toilets built, 1,018 were in Karaikal region, 426 in Ariyankuppam and the remaining 330 in Villianur. Work order for construction of 8,282 toilets, including high-quality UNICEF designed twin pits, has been issued, said a senior official.

An official associated with the scheme blamed the delay on operational issues, including getting the requisite share from the territorial administration and ownership related issues.

Under the scheme, eligible persons could approach the District Rural Development Agency for a grant of ₹20,000 with appropriate documents for construction of individual household toilets through a two-stage funding process. While ₹12,000 would be the Centre’s share, ₹8,000 would come from the territorial administration.

The administration had received ₹5.5 crore from the Centre and of which almost ₹4.5 crore had been distributed among the beneficiaries. The territorial administration had sought an additional ₹10 crore for implementing the scheme, the official said.

“We are likely to miss the target as more than 90 per cent of the toilets are yet to be built. Though in the last few months things have moved fast we will have to re-schedule the target. More than achieving the target, the administration is keen on providing quality toilets among the beneficiaries,” the official added.

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Printable version | May 14, 2021 4:39:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/Puducherry-facing-an-uphill-task-on-sanitation-scheme/article17298139.ece

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