GUWAHATI, March 24 � State Public Health Engineering Minister Sukur Ali today told the Assembly that over 26 lakh rural households are yet to have sanitary latrines.
He informed that the target for the next financial year is to cover six lakh households and the department is committed to improve its physical (actual) achievement.
Replying to a debate on the cut motion on the demand for grant by the PHE department, the minister, however, conceded that last year�s target of one lakh could not be achieved by the department.
�Open air defecation is a problem and I will formally write to all the MLAs to assess the situation in their respective constituencies under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan,� the minister said.
Ali also informed the House that many schemes of the PHE department are lying defunct due to lack of proper execution and maintenance and that a monitoring mechanism would soon be put into place.
On the supply of potable water, the minister said, �The Government is committed to provide potable water to each household as 80 per cent of the diseases are water-borne. Village-to-village survey is being conducted in State and district-level laboratories.�
�We are taking steps to make drinking water free from arsenic and fluoride as along with sanitation, it is directly affecting the health index of the people of the State,� he stated.
Following the reply from the minister, the cut motion was withdrawn.