Centre concerned over women being vulnerable to crimes due to

Expressing concern over crimes against women and girls who have to go for open defecation due to absence of toilets, the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation is looking to work with the state governments to address the issue.

"We are following it up with the state governments. Though these are isolated cases, we are in touch with the state governments, where ever it is happening. These cases will be addressed," Parmeswaran Iyer, Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, told reporters.

He was asked about recent cases of women being raped in rural areas when they had gone out in the open to answer the call of nature.

Iyer today announced that the ministry will be launching a mass media campaign to promote the twin-pit toilet soon.

"A twin-pit toilet is economical, safe, easy to clean, eco-friendly, and is effectively a self-contained waste treatment plant that does not harm the ground water beneath the toilet." he said.

Speaking on the issue of solid and liquid waste, he stressed that there was a paradigm shift underway in the way the Swachh Bharat Mission looks at this issue.

"Mission is moving from seeing it as a Solid Liquid Waste Management issue to seeing it as Solid and Liquid Resource Management, because waste is a resource that can be tapped and converted to wealth and energy," he informed.

Speaking on the issue of drinking water in rural India, he noted that there have been a number of initiatives to reform the National Rural Drinking Water Programme.

He enumerated several steps to improve the speed and quality of implementation of the programme, especially targeting arsenic and fluoride-affected habitations.

Though all the state governments are making efforts to make their states open defecation free (ODF) , the states of Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisa are still lacking behind.

The ministry is expected to emphasise on these eastern states to reach their goal of making the country ODF by 2019.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)