Swachh Bharat: West Bengal looking for NGOs, partners

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Kolkata, Dec 2: Aiming to make the Swachh Bharat mission and the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan a success, West Bengal is looking for more private sector participation and involvement of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), an official said here Tuesday.

Swachh Bharat: West Bengal looking for NGOs, partners

"We are already working with the Unicef and some of its associated NGOs for the sanitation campaign in rural Bengal. Now, we want to maximize the participation and are open to more participation from the corporate sector," Dibyendu Sarkar, special secretary, West Bengal Department of Panchayat and Rural Development (WEDPRD), told IANS on the sidelines of a seminar organised by Confederation of Indian Industry.

Sarkar said the state government will undertake a sanitation project to cover around 4,000 schools in rural areas of the state, based on the state-private ownership model. Community toilets will also be constructed.

"The agreement with the NGOs will be non-financial in nature and we are in the process of short-listing them to work for the (sanitation) campaign," Sarkar said.

In West Bengal, 60 percent of the rural population still resorts to open defecation as only 57 percent of the rural households have "some structure of a toilet" in place. According to Sarkar, many of these are not in a state to be used.

Read: World Toilet Day: Centre to make toilets available for every family, says BJP

"This is a serious problem as 85 percent of the diseases are water-borne and faeces-borne and hazardous for the rural population," he said.

The WEDPRD is planning to make 59 lakh more toilets for rural households across 974 gram panchayats in 900 villages and working on a rural fund-raising model to undertake the mission.

Swachh Bharat mission has a budget of Rs.180,000 crore.

IANS

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