New Delhi: A huge number of toilets in some rural households have been converted to godowns and temples due to scarcity of water, Rural Development Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Monday.
Gadkari, who also holds the portfolio of Drinking Water and Sanitation, said that mere construction of toilets will not be enough to achieve the government's goal of a clean India by 2019 -- the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
He lamented that out of three lakhs toilets constructed to end the menace of open defecation, only 10,000 are used while the rest have been converted to godowns.
"I was surprised that at some places temples were constructed using the toilet building structure because there is no water. That is why I said that there is no point constructing toilets without water," he told a press conference convened to highlight the achievements of his ministries during the first 100 days of the new government.
Noting that the government has huge task behind, he said Clean India Mission faces a huge challenge just in terms of scaling up the programme.
"The country needs to build around 11.11 crore individual household toilets, 1,14,315 community sanitary complexes, around 56,928 school toilets and 1,07,695 anganwadi toilets," he said.
According to Gadkari, the immediate focus, however, is construction of school toilets, separate boys for girls in all schools to be achieved by August 15, 2015 along with the Ministry of HRD.
"The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation stands committed and is gearing up to attain this objective," he said.