Govt may interlink rural sanitation programme with NREGA

Last Updated: Thursday, December 17, 2009 - 16:01

New Delhi: Government is considering interlinking of its rural sanitation programme with NREGA to expedite its target of eradicating open defecation practice till 2010 by utilising the potential and funds of the rural employment guarantee programme.

"I do agree with the suggestions that if unit cost (of
sanitation programme) is not increased, at least the work can
be done through NREGA using the funds available in material
component of the programme. We are addressing this issue,"
Rural Development Minister CP Joshi said today.

"I think interlinking of sanitation (programme) with
NREGA will give good results and shortage of funds, which is
being raised by some of the states, will not remain any issue
...we are considering changing the guidelines," he added.

Joshi was addressing the two-day conference of state
secretaries in-charge of Rural Drinking Water and Sanitation
here. Several states were of the view that allocations on the
unit cost of sanitation programme was very low and it should
be increased.

He said that by interlinking the sanitation programme
with NREGA, the funds available under material and labour
components of the rural employment guarantee programme can be
utilised to give a fillip to the total sanitation programme.

"We have Rs 40,000 crore available under NREGA," Joshi
said asking the states to utilise it.

Under Total Sanitation programme, Government has set the
target of eradicating open defecation practice in rural areas
by 2010. However, only 61.79 per cent of the rural India has
so far been covered.

PTI

First Published: Thursday, December 17, 2009 - 16:01
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