Minister of State for Drinking Water and Sanitation Upendra Kushwaha, in a written reply to the Lok Sabha, said that a number of steps has been taken to accelerate sanitation coverage, including an increase in financial grants to NBA in the 12th Five Year plan.

"To improve the pace of its implementation, changes are made to the scheme (NBA) as and when required. The ministry is in the process of reviewing it with a view to accelerate the pace of sanitation coverage in the country," Kushwaha said.

As per the Census 2011, out of the total 16,78,26,730 rural households, 11,29,97,499 are without toilets within the premises. As many as 67.33 percent rural households are without access to toilets, the Lok Sabha was informed.

As per the report, in Jharkhand 91.67 percent rural households are without access to toilets while in Chhattisgarh it is 85.15 per cent.

The NBA, a comprehensive programme, is administered by the government through states to ensure sanitation facilities in rural areas including construction of toilets. Its main objectives are eradicating the practice of open defecation and ensuring clean environment.

Giving details of steps taken under NBA to accelerate sanitation coverage, Kushwaha said, "Increasing the financial support for sanitation, the 12th Five Year Plan outlay has been fixed at Rs 37,159 crore which is 468 per cent higher than the 11th Five Year Plan Outlay of Rs 6,540 crore."

He said that under NBA the financial incentives for construction of toilets have been raised for all eligible beneficiaries to Rs 4,600 from earlier Rs 3,200.

Emphasise has also been laid on Information Education Communication (IEC) with 15 percent of the total outlay of districts projects earmarked for it, Kushwaha said, adding that his ministry regularly reviews progress of NBA's implementation.

FACTS AND FIGURES

(Agencies)

Latest News from India News Desk