Over Twenty Percent of rural households in Pune still awaiting toilets

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IndiaCSR News Network

PUNE: The rural parts of Pune district are unlikely to achieve 100% sanitation target in the current financial year. With a little over a month to go for the 2014-15 fiscal to end, district authorities have an uphill task ahead – of providing toilets to as many as 1.38 lakh houses, which is 22% short of its target of providing toilets to 6.65 lakh houses in Pune’s rural areas.

Of the 1,409 villages in the 13 talukas of Pune district, the 100% sanitation target has been achieved in 490 villages. Recent statistics show that 5.16 lakh toilets have been constructed so far.

District authorities said that talukas on hilly terrains such as Bhor, Velha and Mulshi are much ahead and have achieved almost a 100% sanitation target. However, an estimated 30% houses located in areas like IndapurBaramati, Daund and Shirur, are still to get toilets, which officials attributed to the higher population in these parts and thus more houses to cover. But 90% of the targeted houses in talukas like Ambegaon, Junnar now have toilets.

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Officials said that citizens play a vital role in the construction of toilets and it would be easy to achieve the target if people take the initiative to both construct and use toilets. Local administrations (gram panchayats) have been told to regularly review citizens’ proposals for subsidy to build toilets and officials said the demand for toilets could go up in the coming days after the government increased the subsidy to construct toilets to Rs 12,000. “Gram panchayats have started receiving letters from citizens to release the subsidy amount. Earlier, a household was entitled to get Rs 4,700 to construct a toilet, and construction work has picked up speed after the amount was increased,” authorities said.

As per the plan, the 100% sanitation programme will continue till 2019, but officials said steps are being taken to reach the target before the deadline. About 30 villages were able to achieve Nirmal Gram status last year.

An elected representative in the Pune Zilla Parishad said that districts like Kolhapur and Satara were way ahead of Pune district in the construction of toilets. The representative said that he has been taking stock of pendency at regular intervals and creating awareness among people to construct and use toilets.

 

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