Punjab Cabinet minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa today accused the Akali sarpanches of not cooperating in making the state open defecation free (ODF). Bajwa said that the World Bank, which provided financial assistance for toilets, had made the participation of village sarpanches mandatory in building toilets. "Akali Sarpanches are not cooperating in building toilets in the rural areas," Bajwa said while addressing media here. "About 70 per cent Akali Sarpanches in the Majha region are not assisting in building toilets.
Sarpanches owing allegiance to the Akali Dal want construction of toilets in the house of beneficiary of their choice. Ideally, toilet needs to be built where they are required," he said. However, Bajwa stressed that the state government was committed to build toilet in each rural house in this year. "So far, 13 districts, 86 blocks and 10,238 villages have been declared ODF in the state," he said. The minister said that the state government will start providing 10-hours drinking water supply to 1,000 new villages every year and so far 1,852 villages are being provided 10 hours water supply. The minister said with the assistance of the World Bank to the tune of Rs 2,200 crore, 100 per cent villages would be provided drinking water supply and sanitation facilities by 2021. Bajwa said that the government projects were being started for the supply of canal water in the villages where the ground water was contaminated.
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