With 85 per cent of Pune district being free of open defecation,district collector Chandrakant Dalvi has issued orders that the officials should work towards a district free of open defecation by the end of this year. The target is December and we should have all the households having toilet blocks by the end of this year. Even the difficult regions such as Velhe and Indapur which are lagging behind will complete construction by the end of this year, said Dalvi.
The district has been working towards a open defecation free district for the past two years. Initiating action against officials who did not have toilet blocks themselves,suspending gram panchayat officials who did not construct toilet blocks,as well getting banks to provide loans to the lower income groups,has seen the rate of construction of toilet blocks go up by a good 20 per cent in two years.
A senior official from the zilla parishad said that there were several deadlines issued this year,however,now with 85 per cent achievement the remaining 15 per cent will be covered in three months time.
According to officials,around 1 lakh toilets will be constructed in the last phase. We have 90 days and we shouldbe able to reach the target, said a zilla parishad officer. When compared to neighbouring districts in western Maharashtra,Pune lags far behind.
According to the statistics provided by the district administration there are 1,401 gram panchayats of which 440 villages have achieved total sanitation status,507 gram panchayats have applied for the status in the current year,and over 454 villages are yet to build sanitation facilities.
Villages who have achieved the 100 per cent status have been asked to submit proposals under the Nirmal gram yojana. At the tehsil level a list of home/families without toilet facilities will be readied by tehsil offices and are proactively appealing to families to construct toilets. We have 6.25 lakh families in the rural area and we have already covered 5.18 lakh families. Presently,we have only 1.07 lakh families left to be covered, said the officer..
The maximum defaulters in the district are from Indapur and Shirur. We have already conducted block and taluka level meetings at places where the beneficiaries and bank officers have already had talks. Only the formal process of issuing loans remains, said Manoj Shinde,one of the block-level officers from Indapur taluka.
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