Jairam: Total sanitation in India by 2022

Union Minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday informed the Rajya Sabha that it would take 10 years to achieve total sanitation in the country.

Replying to a member’s query during Question Hour the minister said,  “It will take 10 years to make all gram panchayats...Nirmal Gram Panchayats.”

There are about 2.60 lakh gram panchayats in the country. As per the latest population Census data, only about 28,000 of them have achieved total sanitation.

Govt’s aim

The minister said the aim of the government was to make India free from open air defecation in the next 10 years. He said Sikkim had become the first Nirmal state in the country, achieving full sanitation coverage.

Himachal Pradesh would soon get the distinction.

Replying to another question, Jairam said that at least 7- 8 per cent of the rural habitations had drinking water source contaminated with excess arsenic, fluoride, iron, salinity or nitrate.

“As on April 1, 2009, there were 1,79,999 rural habitations where at least one drinking water source was contaminated with excess arsenic, fluoride, iron, salinity and nitrate, yet to be provided safe drinking water,” he said.

The minister further said Karnataka accounted for  6,570 drinking water contamination cases, as per the 2009 survey.

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