Open defecation matter of shame: Minister

New Delhi, Aug 6 (IANS) About 70 percent of Indians defecate in the open which is a matter of national shame, Minister of State for Drinking Water and Sanitation Bharatsinh Solanki said Tuesday.

Speaking at an event organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry here, Solanki said: "India is going to become an economic power but it is a shame that we have failed to solve the problem of open defecation."

He said India has announced to end open defecation by 2020 but that target appears difficult to achieve.

He called for fostering association between the government and the industry for ensuring sanitation and safe drinking water to villages across the country.

Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation Secretary Pankaj Jain suggested industry should upscale sanitation facility along with clean drinking water.

"It is dismal that diseases and deaths are prevalent on account of poor sanitation and impure drinking water facilities," said Jain.

He proposed that the corporate sector and social entrepreneurs should spearhead the work for construction and maintenance of sanitation facilities and pure drinking water.

"The government will extend support to the industry and help in getting land from gram panchayats (village self-governments) for construction of sanitation facilities," Jain added.

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