Monday, September 28, 2009

Govt threatens to flush down funding - Bangalore - City - NEWS - The Times of India

Govt threatens to flush down funding - Bangalore - City - NEWS - The Times of India
Rural development and panchayat raj minister Shobha Kharandlaje on Monday said the government will stop funding gram panchayats if
open defecation does not stop.

Speaking at a two-day workshop on rural sanitation, the minister said the sanitation programme has to be compulsorily implemented at least at the household level in the state. "I am instituting a state award called Nairmalya at village, taluk and district levels, to encourage proper implementation of sanitation programmes. Due to lack of awareness, toilets are not properly utilized in rural areas. We have found people using them as cattle sheds in some villages. We can save half our health budget if we properly implement sanitation programmes because that is what leads to so many diseases,'' said Shobha.

With this initiative, Karnataka has a sanitation coverage of 38.79%. Some of the worst affected district owing to lack of implementation of sanitation programmes are Gulbarga, Bijapur, Raichur, Tumkur, Chamrajnagar, Kolar, Bellary and Mandya.

Not surprisingly, in some districts like Gulbarga, sanitation programmes have reached only 10.22% and even in Bangalore Urban, the status of individual household sanitation is only 50.29%.

Dr P Boregowda, Karnataka Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency director, said: "With 100% implementation of sanitation programmes in Shimoga district, health conditions have significantly improved there.''

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