New Delhi: Noting that 13 per cent populace defecate in the open, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday lamented that nearly USD 54 billion worth GDP is being lost every every year on account of inadequate sanitation in the country.
He said over one crore toilets are required to be built in urban areas alone and the government would be spending over Rs 2 lakh crore in both urban and rural areas in the country over the next five years to ensure cleanliness.
According to a statement, Naidu lamented that about USD 54 billion worth GDP is being lost every every year on account of inadequate sanitation in the country and pointed out that about 13 per cent of urban people defecate in the open.
The Minister of Urban Development also called for making use of toilets as a lifestyle choice by all and particularly, the poor as part of achieving total sanitation in the country.
Addressing the inaugural session of World Toilet Congress here, Naidu elaborated on a three-pronged strategy of promoting awareness about the need for cleanliness, ensuring necessary infrastructure and resorting to penal measures to ensure total sanitation in the country.
Reflecting on the sanitation scenario in the country, Naidu noted that none of the 7,135 cities and towns qualifies to be a 'green city' in terms of sanitation in the country and only four cities - Chandigarh, New Delhi (restricted to NDMC areas), Surat and Mysore scored 66 as against 90 required for being a green city, when the last ranking was done in 2010.
He said a fresh ranking of cities based on sanitation conditions would be completed by March this year.