Swati Chandra | June 30, 2015 | New Delhi
The Narendra Modi government has promised that every household in India will have toilets by 2019. This also accounts for complete eradication of open defecation. The construction of toilets with the given target began with launch of Swachh Bharat Mission on October 2, 2014. The nationwide campaign covering 4,041 statutory towns is expected to cost Rs 62,000 crore ($9.7 billion). Despite all the plans, fully constructed toilets are yet to be marked on the official check list of the programme.
Out of 18,830 sanctioned community toilets only 6,137 community toilets have been constructed as on May 21, 2015. This is evident from a newsletter issued by Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM-U) revealing the slow pace of construction. The same newsletter also mentions that as many as 7,246 public toilets were sanctioned so far, out of which only 1,803 were completed. This is the national picture. If we look at the individual states, results would be more astonishing.
The target of eradicating open defecation probably starts with providing toilet facility in every household. A sneak peek into the SBM-U report makes it evident that despite thousands of applications received, no individual toilets were sanctioned in Haryana, Punjab, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Delhi and Odisha. A total of 26,76,276 applications for household toilets were received out of which 10,22,855 toilets were sanctioned.
In Uttar Pradesh, no new community toilets have been constructed so far even after the government has sanctioned a requirement for 400 toilets. Similarly, no community toilets have been constructed in Gujarat, Bihar, Nagaland, Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Goa, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Odisha and Jharkhand despite the huge requirement. Delhi and Chhattisgarh, however, have achieved the target to some extent.
Community toilets are a major necessity in urban slums. Most slum-dwellers defecate in open due to lack of proper toilet and drainage facilities.
According to a United Nations report of 2014, in India 597 million people (47% of the population) defecate in open. The numbers are way too higher as compared to Indonesia (54 million), Pakistan (41 million), China (10 million) and even African countries such as Nigeria (39 million) and Ethiopia (34 million).
Report card is more disappointing in case of public toilets. Only Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Odisha seem to be doing well. Other states have either not constructed even a single public toilet or have not identified the requirement for public toilets. Uttar Pradesh, in particular, did not identify a single public toilet to be built under the mission, despite the sorry state of public conveniences in the state.
With Lockdown 4 ending Sunday, the home ministry has issued new guidelines to fight COVID-19 and for phased re-opening of areas outside the Containment Zones. The guidelines, issued based on extensive consultations held with states and UTs, will be effective from June 1 till June 30. The first phase of reo
When the whole world is fighting COVID-19, food and nutrition security has become a major issue. The pandemic has aggravated the existing food crisis in India, especially in rural and tribal regions. There has been less availability of fresh foods in most parts of the country, and the tribal community has
India is determined to “set an example” for the rest of the word in the post-pandemic economic revival, prime minister Narendra Modi has said, underling the need to become self-reliant. “There is also a widespread debate on how the economies of various countries, including
Close to 48 lakh migrant labourers have been able to reach home from the cities they were working in, as the Indian Railways have run a total of 3,543 “Sharmik Special” trains from May 1. Following the home ministry order regarding the movement by special trains of migrant worker
Before the novel coronavirus hit it, Mumbai about 10-12 lakh labourers from elsewhere had made it their home. The figure for the state of Maharashtra was another 18-20 lakh. As the pandemic spread and the Maximum City emerged as the worst-hit place in India, all economic activities came to an end, and with
For the rest of the world, it is not easy to understand China when it comes to politics or economics. Under pressure from the international community, it has accepted to open the country for a “comprehensive” probe into the origin of the deadly coronavirus. But it is not clear whether the Asian