New Delhi, Jan 29 : The central government Tuesday lauded Sikkim and Tripura for providing basic sanitation facilities to all households.
Singh praised the Tripura government for successfully implementing the Bharat Nirman Scheme, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government's flagship programme aimed at providing basic infrastructure in rural areas.
The minister said there was encouraging response to the sanitation programmes in other states as well, "which is why I am confident of achieving the goal of providing basic sanitation facilities including toilets and sewage treatment plants in rural areas by 2012", he said.
"During 2006-07, 10 million households were provided with toilet facilities in the rural areas in 22 states. The overall sanitation coverage in the rural areas has gone up by 50 percent against 21.4 percent in 2001," Singh said.
According to the schedule, the central government has four years to go to achieve the full sanitation coverage in rural India and eliminate completely the practice of open defecation, provide water supply and toilet facilities in all schools as well.
The minister said the government was committed to provide by 2008-09 safe drinking water in 55,067 habitations.