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HindustanTimes Wed,27 Aug 2014

Slum dwellers lack toilets, MC cites legal niceties

Mehakdeep Grewal , Hindustan Times  Patiala, August 23, 2013
First Published: 23:26 IST(23/8/2013) | Last Updated: 23:28 IST(23/8/2013)

Royal city's slum dwellers lack toilets and are forced to relieve themselves in open grounds ear their shacks, posing a huge sanitary challenge for the corporation and residents.

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However, solutions are not easy to come by with corporation hiding behind legal niceties and residents simply not bothered unless the problem directly concerns them.

Grace Basti in tractor market houses over 400 people. Their houses are small and no government authority or NGO has come forward to construct toilets for them. All residents defecate in the open along the Badi Nadi.

Sunita Rani, a resident of the slum said that she had to walk along to the Choti Nadi to find a secluded place away from men and passersby to relive herself every morning.

"Women in this area have no option, but to ensure that they do not need to use toilet during the day. Otherwise, it can be embarrassing and we lack space for our ablutions."

Interestingly, residents have access to mobiles, but no toilets.

Residents complain that the issue is raised at every elections, but no real change has come about as yet.

District health officer Harsh Malhotra said that almost 10 per cent of all communicable diseases are linked to unsafe water and poor sanitation. Open defecation is the riskiest sanitation practice of all as it increases the risk of consuming human faeces.

Malhotra said, "Open defecation has terrible consequence on children as exposure to environmental germs stunts children's physical and cognitive growth."

Corporation superintendent engineer (SE) MM Syal said, "The corporation cannot construct toilets for every slum, until they are legalised."

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