|Bio-toilets to bring about rural revolution in the country, says Jairam
|The Minister for Rural Development and Drinking Water and Sanitation Shri Jairam Ramesh said that one lakh bio-toilets will be installed in about 300 backward Gram Pachayats of the country in the next two years to make them open defecation free. He said, the project will entail a cost of 150 crore rupees in the first phase. He was speaking here after the signing of an MoU between DRDO and Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation for Bio-Digester based Eco-friendly toilets developed by DRDO. Shri Ramesh said, his Ministry has also offered to install with DRDO built bio-toilets in all new railways coaches and to share half the cost of retrofitting all existing 50,000 coaches in the next four to five years. He informed that the whole project will cost about 500 crore rupees and offered to share the burden on a 50-50 basis with the Railways. He said, the measure will not only prevent the corrosion of tracks but will also provide odourless toilets to passengers. The Minister said there are three dimensions to sanitation challenge in India and the solution must be found with an obsession to tackle the same. Referring to the fact that 60 percent of all open defecations in the world happen in India, Shri Ramesh promised to make the country open defecation free in the next ten years. He said, 11 million passengers travel every day by train and at present waste is dumped directly on to the tracks because of the existing toilet system in trains. The Minister said the third aspect of the sanitation problem is that there are still 15 lakh in-sanitary latrines in the country, where manual scavenging is widely prevalent. Shri Ramesh said, the DRDO technology is an important route and not a magic bullet, but he expressed the hope that in the long run it will bring about a revolution in the rural areas, if pursued in a mission mode manner.