The Puducherry government today announced that families extended subsidies to build toilets in their houses under Swachch Bharath Abhiyan (Urban) scheme wouldbe kept out of benefits of all welfare schemes if they did not undertake the exercise before September 30. A press release from Secretary to Local Administration Department H Jawahar said that the government was providing Rs 20,000 as subsidy under the scheme to each household lacking toilets to enable them to construct toilets. This subsidy amount is the highest a State government is providing in the country as a whole to ensure 'open defecation free' zone. Jawahar said that though a number of families had obtained a part of the amount under the first instalment they had not initiated any step to construct the toilets. "Several awareness programmes were conducted in a bid to motivate the beneficiaries to have the facilities.
But they had defaulted to construct the toilets by presenting several flimsy reasons for the default", he said. A national survey on public health had projected that Puducherry municipality and Uzhavarkarai municipality were ranked 189th and 206th ranks respectively. "This is a matter of serious concern for the government", Jawahar said. He said families who had obtained the subsidy should ensure construction of the toilets before September 30,failing which they would be kept out of all welfare schemes and not get benefits of any of the schemes, includingsubsidised essential commodities through ration shops'. Jawahar said that such families would not also get the benefits ofthe Prime Minister Awas Yojana (PMAY), educational assistance and benefits ofseveral other welfare schemes till they gotthe toilets ready. Where the beneficiaries have utilised the subsidy and constructed the toilets their applications for housing benefits under PMAY would be accorded priority for allocation of houses, he said.
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