Puducherry PWD Minister A Namassivayam today said the entire Union Territory would be declared ‘open defecation free’ on October 2 this year as the government has intensified steps to ensure that all households were equipped with toilet facilities. The minister announced in the Assembly that the territorial government would spend around Rs 16 crores to provide subsidies to households without toilets, as part of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Namassivayam further said drinking water supply would be augmented in rural areas in Puducherry through deep bore well projects at a cost of Rs 403 crores and the projects would be funded by the Paris based Finance corporation (French Development Corporation). He said that Public Health Division in PWD would implement various infrastructure development projects at a cost of Rs 661.52 crores during 2017-2018.
In his response to the MLAs’ views on demands for grants to his department, Welfare Minister M Kandasamy said that a detailed survey would be taken up to assess the income of families for reclassification of red colour family ration cards. He said that those coming forward to opt out of freebies would be issued green colour ration cards. Kandasamy also said that the government was committed to eradicating child labour in the Union Territory. A survey was now under way through the Pondicherry University and the report of the survey would be available on September 30, he said. The government would start a school exclusively for the rehabilitation of the child labour, he added.