‘Will never compromise on quality of latrines being constructed’

LAKHIMPUR, June 6: “We will never compromise with the quality of the Individual Household Latrines (IHL) being constructed under the Swachh Bharat Mission (Rural). The NGOs who will be found guilty in the construction of these latrines will be black listed and due action will be taken against them. Similarly, the officers who will show negligence in case of proper implementation of the scheme will also be treated strictly. We must get our State open defecation-free within the targeted period,” said Public Health Engineering Minister Rihon Daimari while addressing a press meet at Lakhimpur District Circuit House on Tuesday.

Reviewing the progress of the construction of the IHL in Lakhimpur, the minister gave a picture of the progress of the scheme in the press meet. “A total of 1,17,559 IHLs to be constructed was the target in Lakhimpur. Out of this figure, 79,885 have been constructed and 31,700 are to be constructed. I ordered the department concerned in the district to complete the construction of the remaining IHLs by October 2 as per the instruction of the Chief Minister,” he stated.

He informed that the Lakhimpur DC was strictly instructed to launch an inquiry into the complaints regarding the poor quality construction of IHLs in the district. He added that a total fund of Rs 79.19 crore under Swachh Bharat Mission had already been released to the district since 2014 and Rs 77,08 crore was spend out of it.

On the other hand, the minister admitted PHE Department’s failure with regard to the rejuvenation of the non-working water supply schemes, water testing laboratories in the district. He also informed that his department had initiated prior moves to tackle the burning problem of providing pure drinking water to the affected people of Lakhimpur and Dhemaji districts during the flood. Regarding this, he informed the media that due instruction was given to the DCs concerned. He further cleared that he was trying his level best to wipe out the fear of corruption in the implementation of the schemes, whether they were taken under Swachh Bharat Mission or State government. He also suggested the Samabai Samitis of the district to initiate steps to start new business as the government was planning to supply the PDS commodities to the beneficiaries directly.

The minister visited the District PHE Office at Japisajia and participated in a plantation drive on the occasion of World Environment Day. Then he took part in a review meeting at the DC office regarding the progress of the sanitation schemes. After the press conference, he went to visit the Nalkata Water Supply scheme in the district near North Lakhimpur town.