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Swachh Bharat toilets still a dream for many in urban areas

ranchi Updated: Aug 25, 2015 19:19 IST
Sanjoy Dey
Sanjoy Dey
Hindustan Times
Swachh Bharat mission

The Jharkhand government has not been able to construct a single toilet in the urban areas of the state more than a year after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the Swachh Bharat mission, a government report says.

Under the Clean India mission, Jharkhand was given a target to construct two lakh individual, public and community toilets out of which 30,000 were scheduled to be built in 2015-16, said Rajesh Kumar Sharma, the director state urban development agency (SUDA).

“Jharkhand was given target to construct 30,000 toilets in the current financial year. But, we got the allotment in July,” he said.

Sharma, however, said that the process of constructing toilets in urban areas has begun. “We will build individual, public and community toilets as per the demand.”

According to Census 2011, more than 32% urban households in the state still defecate in open as they do not access to toilets.

Urban areas in the state also lack public and community toilets.

According to a Union urban development ministry report, 6,796 applications for individual toilets and 415 for community toilets have been sanctioned under SBM. But, construction of toilets in urban areas is still to take off in the state.

Access to individual and public toilets is also poor in Jharkhand’s capital Ranchi. According to the development plan of the Ranchi Municipal Corporation, more than 33% households in the city do not have toilets.

The condition is worse in public places like bus stands, outside railway stations, playgrounds, parks, markets and government offices. The city has only 60 public toilets where its requirement is more than 100 public toilets.

The city’s two major busstands-Khadgarha and ITI-have only one public toilet each.

“In absence of adequate toilets, we often have to go in open. Until adequate facilities of toilets or dustbins are provided in city, the objective of SBM cannot be achieved,” said Rajnish Pandit, a bus conductor.

An official of Sulabh International, a social organization that constructs toilets, said there should be a five community public toilet for every 200 households.

The organisation runs 323 public toilets in the state, including 60 in Ranchi.

“Jharkhand’s needs more than 200 public toilets immediately, out of which 50 required only in Ranchi,” said Jai Prakash Jha, deputy controller of Sulabh International in Jharkhand.

Ranchi Municipal Corporation deputy mayor Sanjeev Vijayvargiya said the civic body has been allotted to construct 6,000 individual toilets and so far it has only received 3,000 applications.

“The civic body will start constructing the toilets once it gets approval from the Centre. Work order to construct five public toilets in the city has been given to Sulabh International.”