PANAJI: Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Wednesday informed members in the Legislative Assembly that 18,518 individual bio-digester toilets would be constructed before the onset of monsoon.
Replying to a starred question tabled by Ponda MLA Ravi Naik during question-hour, Sawant said, ''We have declared the State Open Defecation Free (ODF) but have not given bio-digester toilets to every household. I agree. We have to give 18,518 toilets. Till now work on 472 toilets is in progress. There are four contractors and they have started work in all the 12 talukas together. All those who have applied for toilets would be given that before onset of monsoon.''
Sawant said earlier the scheme was under the Directorate of Panchayats but later by a cabinet decision it was transferred to Waste Management Corporation, which has been appointed as a nodal agency for providing the bio-digester toilets.
The Chief Minister said that the government had now reduced the rates to purchase these toilets and the applicants belonging to the general category and OBC (other backward classes) will have to pay Rs 2500 in stead of earlier Rs 10,000 while, the revised rates for applicants from SC and ST communities will be Rs 1000 as against the earlier rate of Rs 5000. Sawant said that the government will take a decision on refunding the extra money already paid by the applicants as per the old rates.
The Chief Minister was responding to a question asked by Ponda MLA Ravi Naik who sought to know construction of how many toilets have been completed.
Earlier, Panchayat Minister told Ponda MLA that as many as 4143 individuals from Ponda taluka had submitted their applications for bio-digester toilets and so far only 61 toilets had been constructed and 4082 toilets were yet to be built.
Ravi told the House that the applicants from Ponda constituency had submitted their applicants and also paid their money in 2017 and they were yet to get these toilets thereby defeating government's decision to make Goa ODF