New Delhi: Highlighting the government's commitment to the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, union minister Birender Singh on Wednesday assured states that funds will not be a constraint to achieve targets of sanitation and drinking water in the country. Addressing a 'National Conference on Sanitation and Drinking Water', the minister for drinking water and sanitation expressed satisfaction over the pace of construction of toilets in rural India gathering momentum and states like West Bengal, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Maharashtra taking the lead in construction of individual household latrines and community toilets.
"Many of the states may achieve the target of open-defecation free status in 2017 or 2018, well before the target of October 2, 2019. Sikkim and Kerala are now open defecation free states," he said. "Merely achieving the target of toilet construction will defeat the very purpose of Swachh Bharat Mission, rather more importance should be attached to the sustainability of the programme and change in attitude," he added. He further said 8-10 percent of the ministry's total budget would be spent on various campaign strategies in future.