Drive soon against defecation in open

Speaking at the Nairmalya Rajya award ceremony at the Banquet Hall of Vidhana Soudha, Yeddyurappa said the next two years would be devoted for creating a hygienic condition in rural areas, small hamlets and towns. He said the amount given by the government to individuals to construct toilets in their houses in rural areas has been increased from Rs 2,500 to Rs 3,000.

He said the award is given to send a message to people living in comparatively dirty villages to keep their surroundings clean. He, however, maintained that people of Karnataka loved cleanliness.

Speaking on the occasion Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, Jagadish Shettar gave a call to launch a movement to promote cleanliness. He told the gathering that the BJP government had promised to build 55 lakh toilets in the State, of which 35 lakh had already come up and the remaining would be built in the next two years. He said a lot of focus has to be given to North Karnataka where a sizable population in rural areas choose open places for defecation.

Referring to a report that appeared in Deccan Herald about the people launching a drive in a Haryana village called ‘no toilet, no bride,’ Shettar said, such a movement has to be launched in Karnataka too. He added that like cell phones, which a cowherd too takes pride in possessing, toilets must also become a prestige issue.

During the ceremony, three villages - Hosangadi (Dakshina Kannada), Bashettihalli (Bangalore rural) and Kothali (Belgaum); three taluks - Teerthalli (Shimoga), Karkala (Udupi) and Yallapur (Uttar Kannada); and two districts - Dakshina Kannada and Shimoga - have received the Nairmalya Ratna award. Twelve villages were conferred with Swarna Nairmalya award.

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