Karnataka Government proposes to enact a legislation known as ‘Karnataka Sanitary Facilities Guarantee Bill’ to encourage healthy sanitary habits. The move is primarily aimed at guaranteeing sanitary facilities and enabling people, especially rural women. Through the Bill, the State government may propose to provide financial assistance to any family having annual income of less than Rs. 1.25 lakh, any single woman or a woman with a minor or disabled dependents living independently, any person with physical disabilities living independently or any senior citizen to get toilets constructed. Although a huge amount of money has been spent on providing public and individual toilets, the facilities end up being underutilized or become neglected owing to lack of maintenance.
Through the proposed legislation, the government intends to provide people the “right to sanitary facilities” by ensuring that every eligible applicant has the right to access public toilets and the right of getting a toilet constructed on the premises in his or her ownership or possession.
Also the draft would list the responsibilities and duties of various local bodies with regard to ensuring sanitary facilities to the public and guidelines for facilitating a suitable environment for the eligible applicants coming forward to get toilets constructed.