Accepting that development of sanitation facilities in the country
has been a "disaster", Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh
Wednesday suggested enhanced government funding to deal with the
"Sanitation is the biggest blot on the human development portfolio
in India. The sanitation situation is disastrous," said Ramesh
speaking at the release of UN Human Development Report 2011 here.
"We need massive public funding for sanitation," he said adding
there has been marked progress in providing education, and some
improvement in making health care and drinking water available in
Making a comparison, Ramesh said while expenditure on water supply
was Rs.20,000 crore annually, it was just Rs.2,000 crore on
Success in providing education came because of the centre, which
bears around 60 percent of the total spending on the sector today,
"Out of 6 lakh villages in the country, only 25,000 are free from
the practice of open defecation," the minister said, adding
"People do not use toilets due to cultural reasons in many parts
of the country."
The focus of the rural development ministry has now shifted to
building household toilets, Ramesh noted.