No toilet, no ticket

By delete-314
Published: Tuesday 15 July 2008

orissa has decided to introduce a law barring candidates who don't have toilets in their houses from contesting for the Panchayati raj institutions. The decision was taken at a high-level meeting attended by cabinet ministers and officials from the rural development, panchayati raj and health and family welfare ministries.

The meeting was held after the centre asked Orissa to step up efforts to speed up the sanitation drive in the state. Orissa is among the states where the centre's Total Sanitation Campaign (tsc) has made very little progress. Only 25.4 per cent rural households in Orissa have toilets, against the national average of 50 per cent. The state government has also launched a grand sanitation awareness campaign.

Orissa's earlier scheme of giving cash awards for meeting sanitation targets has failed to yield results.The state government had declared that sarapanchs who would persuade 1,000 households to construct toilets between October 2, 2007, and April 1, 2008, would be given Rs 1 lakh, and those persuading 500 households would get Rs 50,000. Only six s arpanchs qualified for the Rs 1 lakh prize and 25 for the other.

In Orissa and other states lagging in meeting tsc targets, state and individual share in total expenditure on sanitation under the scheme has been dismal, which shows lack of motivation.

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