20 million toilets built in two years
PRIME Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said yesterday his government had built more than 20 million toilets and brought electricity to thousands of villages as he delivered an Independence Day report card.
From the ramparts of Delhi’s 17thcentury Red Fort, Mr Modi vowed that his administration was on track to meet its pledge of providing power and toilets to every household across the sub-continent.
Mr Modi drew praise in his first August 15 speech in 2014 as he tackled often-taboo issues such as sexual violence and a lack of toilets, promising to build one for every household within four years.
“Today I can say that in such short time, more than 20 million toilets have been built in India’s villages and more than 70,000 are free of open defecation,” he said to loud applause.
Mr Modi has stressed the need to clean up India since storming to power in 2014 and has repeatedly urged every household to have a toilet to end the spread of disease and illnesses such as diarrhoea.
Last year’s speech saw him set a 1000-day deadline for every village
in India to get electricity, urging state governments responsible for power to ensure every community is finally linked to the national grid.
More than 300 million people in India – the world’s fastest-growing major economy – still had no access to electricity. Per-capita electricity consumption is barely one-third of the global average.
In a lengthy speech, Mr Modi said he had striven to streamline India’s regulatory regime, including income tax filing and passport applications, while extolling the economic growth rate since he came to power.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets schoolchildren after delivering his Independence Day speech from Red Fort in New Delhi yesterday, marking India’s 69th anniversary.