Govt vows to make state open defecation-free by Oct 2

Govt vows to make state open defecation-free by Oct 2

Krishna Byregowda

With four months left, Karnataka is nowhere near meeting the Open Defecation Free (ODF) national deadline of October 2.

Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) minister Krishna Byre Gowda, who chaired a meeting of chief executive officers, executive engineers and finance officers of all Zilla Panchayats on Saturday, has instructed officials to ensure that construction of toilets is expedited.

Speaking to reporters later, Gowda said except for six to seven districts, the remaining districts were declared ODF.

He said toilet construction had taken a hit in the last few months owing to the elections. “But, we are aiming to complete the project in all districts before October 2. Hopefully, we will emerge as one of the top five states in the country.”

He said the Centre was yet to compensate Karnataka, which had advanced an amount of around Rs 1,500 crore under MGNREG scheme. He said the Centre was yet to compensate around Rs 1,050 crore to Karnataka. The minister said that he would impress upon the officials to release the funds at the earliest, during his visit to New Delhi on June 25.

Gowda said his department had kept a target of meeting 10 crore man days, amounting to Rs 3,5000 crore, under MGNREGS this year.

He also said that the Centre would be releasing funds under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) by the end of this year (Phase 3), and that the road works would begin early next year.

Gowda has asked the officials to repair the defunt drinking water units by July 15.