1.30 crore government-built toilets non-functional: Birender Singh

Shillong, Sep 9 (IANS) Union Drinking Water and Sanitation Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh on Wednesday revealed that 1.30 crore government-built toilets remained non-functional as beneficiaries still preferred open-defecation.

“Out of the six crore toilets constructed, a survey conducted has indicated that a total of 1.30 crore are non-functional and have become defunct.

“Last year alone we built 80 lakh toilets, but just by building toilets we cannot achieve success in our open defecation free programme,” he told reporters here after inaugurating the national consultation on sanitation partnership.

In order to make these functional, he said a lot of churning is needed to change the mind-set of the people through various partnerships.

The minister also said the government would also come out with a public propaganda to make people aware of “Clean India Mission” to make India free of open-defecation by October 2, 2019.

Moreover, Singh also admitted that it took him less than a year to adopt himself to used European commode.

“It took me less than a year to adapt to the European seat. Therefore, how do you expect over night result to see the country is free of open-defecation.”

“The mindset of the people has to change, if we are to succeed in our Swachh Bharat campaign. The government alone cannot do everything, the people must come forward and be part of the change,” Singh said.

Exhorting corporate houses to take part in Clean India Mission to build toilets in the rural areas to achieve the target, the minister called upon all actors to partner on programme implementation, developing agency and strategy for achieving the goals of Swachh Bharat.

“We are conscious that achieving this ambitious target will need support and cooperation from one and all. We are ready to be partner with the stakeholders working in sanitation sector in our endeavour to make India fee of open-defecation,” he said.

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