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Indian Government To Promote Better Sanitation

The Indian Government has apportioned an amount of Rs 0.5 million towards a new public-private initiative for providing better community toilets across the country. Places like hospitals, market places, //schools, railway stations, bus stands, and slums will be targeted by the sanitation initiative. The Rs. 1.1 million project has been set up in partnership with the district administration, Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) and Sulabh International, which deals in low cost sanitation solutions. With the HUDCO as the nodal organization for providing grant assistance, it will also be assigned the task of selecting the implementing agency based on its previous track record. For each unit of the toilets with bathing facilities, the Government has estimated an expenditure of Rs.40,000 of which HUDCO would provide half the funding in two installments to the selected implementing agency, whether a corporate, an NGO or community based organization. The units are targeted at being self-sustaining in nature. The scheme has an in-built mechanism for monitoring and evaluation of scheme's progress. With just two months left for the financial year 2005-06 to end, the official said there would be no limit to the applicants who could hope to benefit as the scheme is expected to generate gainful employment. The first of the facility is to be inaugurated on 30 January 2006 at Jhajhar in Haryana, where a 10-seater complex has been set up at the premises of the Haryana Roadways. Edited (IANS)

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