BHUBANESWAR: With public sector undertakings (PSUs) failing to meet the deadline of constructing new toilets in schools, the State Government has set July 31 as the deadline for district Collectors to meet the target.
Chief Secretary GC Pati, who reviewed the progress of sanitation programme in schools through video conference here on Tuesday, asked all district Collectors to ensure construction of low cost functional toilets, including those allotted to the PSUs, on a war footing by July 31.
The State Government’s move came after the Centre asked for status of the school toilet project. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech last year had announced to provide toilets to all schools within a year.
“Now, the Centre wants feedback as the Prime Minister will inform countrymen about the toilet project on this Independence Day,” said an official of the School and Mass Education department.
After the Prime Minister’s announcement, the State Government had estimated requirement of construction and renovation of 44,002 toilets in schools of the State.
While the Odisha Primary Education Programme Authority (OPEPA) was assigned to construct 13,049 toilets, about 20 PSUs had taken up the task to complete 30,953 toilets.
“As of now, OPEPA has completed 6,436 toilets and another 3,313 are in advanced stage of completion. The PSUs have so far completed 5,690 toilets,” the official said.
A standard design for construction of such low cost functional toilets has been sent to all districts and funds for the purpose will be provided through OPEPA, School and Mass Education Secretary Ranjana Chopra said.
Collectors have also been asked to give priority to remote and difficult areas pending construction of permanent toilets. They were advised to take the services of District Education Officers, Block Education Officers and other officers of School and Mass Education department for better coordination, supervision and monitoring of works.
Collectors have also been asked to involve school management committees actively in this work.