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57L families don't have toilets in rural Maharashtra: Sanitation minister

The Narendra Modi-led government may have launched its ambitious Swacch Bharat Abhiyan which has the elimination of open defecation as one of its objectives, but in an indication of the tough task it has on its hands, Maharashtra has around 57 lakh rural families whose homes don't have toilets.

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The Narendra Modi-led government may have launched its ambitious Swacch Bharat Abhiyan which has the elimination of open defecation as one of its objectives, but in an indication of the tough task it has on its hands, Maharashtra has around 57 lakh rural families whose homes don't have toilets.

In a written reply to a question by Sandeep Naik (NCP, Airoli) and others in the state legislative assembly on Monday, water supply and sanitation minister Babanrao Lonikar said that according to a survey in 2012, a total of 65,15,718 families did not have toilets of their own. However, in 2013-14, a total of 5,59,042 toilets were constructed and in the subsequent financial year, 2,64,716, were built, taking the total number of toilets constructed to 8,23,758.

Under the Swacch Bharat Abhiyan (rural), a grant of Rs 12,000 will be given towards the construction of each toilet. A project implementation plan has been prepared for constructing toilets for the remaining 56,91,960 families till 2019.

Lonikar said that divisional commissioners and district collectors had been instructed to organise workshops from time to time to popularise the Swacch Bharat Mission (rural) and ensure its implementation.

In Sakoli in Bhandara district, the 2012 survey found that 14,574, families did not have toilets. However, in January 2015, toilets were made available for 1,821 of these families.

According to the Census of India for 2011, the percentage of households with no latrine facilities in rural Maharashtra was at a lower 62% in 2011 as compared to 81.8% in 2001. The Census said that 69.3% households had no latrines in 2011 compared to a higher 78.1% in 2001.

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