Kerala: Funds may stop clean tag
Thiruvananthapuram: Fund shortage might just stop Kerala from becoming the first state with a considerable population to achieve Open Defecation Free status by November 1. LSGD minister K.T. Jaleel, who inaugurated a two-day workshop on Solid and Liquid Waste Management, along with minister of state Ramesh Chandappa Jigajinagi, said that Rs 1,540 crore was not enough to build toilets here.
Kerala is 96 per cent ODF, and it is only the last lap that remains. LSGD principal secretary T.K. Jose shared that of the 2 lakh household toilets that need to be built, work on 1,60,000 is proceeding fast. However 40,000 toilets need to be built in three difficult areas — Kuttanad which is below sea-level; coastal areas with their high water table; tribal areas where transportation cost is going to be higher. He said that the government was trying to raise funds through CSR, NGOs and sponsorships.
Mr Jigajinagi, who recently took charge as MoS of Drinking Water and Sanitation, said that a total of 1.99 crore toilets have been built under Swacch Bharat Mission — Gramin, and the ODF villages are increasing. Chief secretary S.M. Vijayanand said that Kerala requires a menu of technology and managerial options so that local bodies can effectively manage solid and liquid waste. He said that Kerala has to opt decentralised waste management.
For the state, unlike other parts of the country, generates a lot of waste in rural areas. Moreover, the density of population is high and the rural land market is the costliest land market in the country, he said. The workshop is being organised by Swachh Bharat Mission, Suchitwa Mission and World Bank Group.