Ganga Sagar Mela next year would be declared ‘Green Mela’ where sanitary toilets would be provided for all pilgrims.
South 24 Paraganas district magistrate P B Salim said 10,000 sanitary toilets would be set up for the mela, which attracts lakhs of pilgrims from across the country.
He said the pilgrims would be made aware of the demerits of open defecation at various stages of their journey right from the city to Sagar Island, where they take the holy dip on the occasion of Makar Sankranti.
Referring to the situation in the district vis-a-vis sanitation, he said the model set by Nadia, declared a total sanitation district, would be followed though South 24 Parganas had a much larger population.
“Next year on Gandhi Jayanti we plan to declare South 24 Parganas a total sanitation district. For this we are involving people from all sections - students, Anganwadi and Asha workers, SHGs, NGOs besides religious heads,” he said adding at present there are no sanitary toilets in at least seven lakh households in the district.
The government will provide Rs 10,000 for each toilet built and the beneficiary would pay Rs 900 or provide labour. In West Bengal 40 per cent of the people have no sanitary toilets at their homes compared to 58 per cent in the country.