Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to construct toilets to help preserve the dignity of women, minister of state (independent charge) for planning and statistics Rao Inderjit Singh has now also urged all Members of Parliament to utilise funds under the MPLADS for the purpose, making it their top priority over the next one year.
Pointing out that construction of toilets at public places and schools is already permitted under the MP Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS), Singh in a letter last week said, “I would like to make the request that the highest priority may kindly be given to construction of toilets in schools during the next one year.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had, in his Independence Day address to the nation, stressed on the need to construct toilets in all schools with separate toilets for girls as one of the ways to ensure that girls continue their education. He had called on parliamentarians to use MPLADS funds as well as the corporate sector under their corporate social responsibility schemes to contribute funds for the purpose.
Singh, whose ministry administers the MPLADS, has pointed out that the scheme also allows MPs to provide funds for construction of toilets in schools and educational institutions run by trusts and societies though funding for infrastructure and public utility. Under the MPLADS, each MP can recommend works to the tune of Rs 5 crore annually to the district collector in his or her constituency.
The letter last week sent to all parliamentarians and district authorities responsible for MPLADS has also noted that funds under the scheme can also be used for bio-digesters developed by the DRDO for schools belonging to Central, state and local self government.
“In addition, MPLADS funds can be converged with Central and state government schemes and can also be used to augment funds against Central plus state share in Centrally sponsored schemes,” said the missive.