To eradicate dry toilets from urban areas, the government has decided to provide financial support to states under a centrally sponsored scheme to the tune of about Rs 367 crore in next two years.
"The total cost of this project is estimated at Rs 481.45 crore of which the central share will be of Rs 367.33 crore. The rest will be borne by state governments and beneficiaries," Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Minister Ajay Maken said here.
The revised guidelines of the Integrated Low Cost Sanitation scheme envisages conversion of all existing dry toilets into twin pit flush latrines, as well as construction of new toilets for economically weaker households where latrines do not exist in urban areas across the country.
According to the Census 2011, there are a total of 2.08 lakh dry latrines in urban areas which are cleaned by manual scavengers. Of these, more 1.06 lakh exist in Uttar Pradesh alone.
Manual scavenging has been banned under the Employment of Manual Scavenging and Construction of Dry Latrine (Prohibition) Act, 1993.
"Since more than 50 per cent of the existing dry latrines are in UP, I had met Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on November 7 and asked him to expedite work on the scheme," Maken said.
"I would be writing to all chief ministers in this regard soon," he added.
While there are 583 dry latrines in Delhi, the figures for Tamil Nadu and West Bengal are 17,414 and 14,000 respectively.
The Centre will bear 75 per cent of the total cost and the state government's share is 25 per cent, as per the scheme, the Minister said.
Maken said states have a major role in executing the scheme by involving urban local bodies and NGOs.
"States are also encouraged to initiate innovative scheme for setting up eco-friendly toilets in urban areas. There is also a provision for providing incentives to NGOs for actively participating in the project," he said.
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