New Delhi: Government seems to be racing against time to fulfill Prime Minister Narendra Modi's promise of ensuring toilets in all schools across the country in a year as about 1.94 lakh toilets are yet to be made operational as against the target of 4.19 lakh toilets.
Modi had in his first Independence day speech last year promised toilets in all schools within a year, more so as lack of such facilities was keeping girl students away from schools in many pockets in the country.
With barely three weeks left for Independence Day celebrations, Parliament was informed last week that 2.86 lakh toilets have been constructed so far, though states and Union Territories such as Andaman and Nicobar, Daman & Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Kerala, Puducherry and Sikkim have achieved 100 per cent target.
States which are close to achieving the target are Gujarat and Karnataka, HRD Minister Smriti Irani informed the Lok Sabha in a written reply.
Under the Swachh Vidyalaya initiative, 4.19 lakh toilets have been targeted for completion. PSUs committed to construct 1.67 lakh toilets while the private sector extended support for constructing 4,562 toilets.
A commitment for 1,600 toilets has been made under the Swachh Bharat Kosh initiative.
The Ministry, however, is optimistic of meeting the target, with senior officials making rounds of the states to expedite the mission.
The progress is being monitored on a continuous basis at the national level.
"Meetings and video conferences have been held with State Chief Secretaries, Education Secretaries, State Project Directors of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and also with Central Ministries and Central PSUs.
"In addition to this, 310 central observers have also been deputed to visit districts to review the progress of the Swachh Vidyalaya Initiative," the Minister said.