Hyderabad, Sep 13 (UNI) The Andhra Pradesh Government will take up Rs 2,000 crore worth rural development projects in addition to Rs 3,000 crore worth ongoing projects to improve sanitation in rural areas, Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy said today.
The Government also decided to include sewerage projects in rural areas under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), he said, felicitating Sarpanches of 143 Gram Panchayats who had won the President's 'Nirmal Gram Puraskars' for their contribution to eradicate the undesirable practice of open defecation by 2010.
Dr Reddy justified the Government's decision to split the Panchayat Raj department to form a separate rural water supply department, stating that the new department had a lot of responsibilities to fulfil.
The Government had introduced a new component of solid and liquid waste management under the total sanitation campaign and allocated Rs 100 crore to improve drainage facilities and safe disposal of solid wastes in villages, he added.
Taking a cue from urban local bodies, Gram Panchayats should also ensure segregation of organic and inorganic waste and door-to-door collection for maintenance of hygiene in their villages and avoid communicable diseases, he said, adding that ''segregation is not a tough task and it does not involve a lot of money too''.