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Scheme for total eradication of dry latrines in urban India extended

Posted on Nov 23, 04:51PM | UNI

With the 2010 Census having pointed out that nearly 2.08 lakh latrines still exist in urban areas across India, the government today decided to extend the integrated low cost sanitation scheme into the 12th Plan (2012-17) with revised features and cost estimates.

The decision was taken by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs here this evening in a meeting presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, said an official statement.

Approving the proposal of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, the government said it would extend financial support to state governments for total eradication of the dry latrines from the urban areas at an estimated cost of Rs 481.45 crore, out of which the Central share would be Rs 367.33 crore and the rest will be borne by state governments and beneficiaries in the ratio of 3:1.

The government said the cost ceiling has been realigned from the current level of Rs 10,000 (fixed in 2008) to Rs 15,000 and enhanced support has been announced for adoption of eco-friendly technologies like bio-digesters.

India had banned manual scavenging of untreated human excreta under the Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrine (Prohibition) Act, 1993. But the 2010 Census pointed that out that nearly 2.08 lakh latrines still exist in urban areas where the night soil is removed by humans. More than 50 per cent of these latrines (1.06 lakh) exist in Uttar Pradesh.

During the 11th Plan (2007-12), the government had provided financial support for conversion of about 2.52 lakh dry latrines and construction of 1.56 lakh new toilets to economically weaker section households who had no toilets.