Jairam calls for eradicating open defecation by 2022

New Delhi, Feb 15: Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh Wednesday called for making India an open defecation-free country in 10 years.

Addressing a national consultation on scaling up sanitation here, Ramesh said there is a need to build a mass movement on the issue as the country accounts for almost 60 percent of open defecation in the world.

Calling for a major paradigm shift in policy and approach to deal with this problem, he favoured greater integration of finance, technology and civil society movement to achieve the goal.

He also asked the officials to have a relook at the funds allocated per toilet in rural areas, which is Rs.3,000 at present and not realistic.

The minister also assured substantial budgetary increase in the 12th Five Year Plan, which could range between 40 to 60 percent enhancement as the central government’s current total spending for the drinking water and sanitation is only Rs.10,000 crore.