Total sanitation campaign lined for rejig
The total sanitation campaign (TSC) to make the country open-defecation free needs restructuring, union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh said on Wednesday, even as he said that the goal will be met in ten years. The rejig is a part of the twelfth five-year plan, the minister added.
The restructuring of TSC, run by the ministry of drinking water and sanitation, will focus on innovations in the sector to provide low-cost sanitation solutions.
Announcing the change in approach, Ramesh, who also holds additional charge of the drinking water and sanitation ministry, said that the gram panchayat will be made the anchor for the programme.
"I think this change from a focus on individual toilet construction to making the programme anchored in the Gram Panchayat and giving the Gram Panchayat the responsibility for preparing a comprehensive plan for making the Gram Panchyat open defecation free and providing sustainable solutions something that we would like to promote as part of the 12th plan strategy," he told a workshop on sanitation here. "This is the time for innovation. We have to think differently. We must say in 10 years time, all 250,000 Gram Panchayats must be open defecation free," he said.
He said finance minister Pranab Mukherjee has assured him of a significant increase in the budgetary allocation "that will be reflective on the fact that we are going to bring new priorities." Currently, the centre's the total spending for drinking water and sanitation is only Rs 10000 crore. "My model of sanitation is public funding private management," Ramesh said before meeting planning commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia to seek a 40 to 60 per cent increase in the fund allocation for the campaign in the 12th plan period
India accounts for 60 percent of those relieving themselves in the open across the world.