Vanishing toilets under Swachh Bharat Mission resurface in Madhya Pradesh
About 450,000 toilets worth about Rs 540 crore were not accounted for in February this year after the first survey to check the existence of about 66,00,000 units built in the state since October 2, 2014, under the mission was conducted by SBM (rural) authorities.Updated: Mar 03, 2020 17:27 IST
As many as 295,000 of the 300,000 toilets that had gone “missing” in the initial Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) survey in Madhya Pradesh have resurfaced after data was re-verified, officials said on Tuesday.
About 450,000 toilets worth about Rs 540 crore were not accounted for in February this year after the first survey to check the existence of about 66,00,000 units built in the state since October 2, 2014, under the mission was conducted by SBM (rural) authorities.
A toilet constructed under the mission is supposed to be geo-tagged by the beneficiary of the scheme through the mSBM application with the help of smartphones with camera and GPS facilities to maintain transparency in the process.
“The second survey has covered about 300,000 toilets out of 450,000 so far and only about 5000 toilets were not found existing. The survey is going on to check the status of remaining toilets,” Anurag Verma, Madhya Pradesh programme officer of SBM (Grameen), said.
Verma said the first survey was conducted by swachhagrahis or grassroots volunteers.
“I don’t know what went wrong. Either there was some lack of coordination between them and the other government agencies or there might have been some other reason. We are looking into it to find out what went wrong during the first round of the survey,” he said.
Verma said he personally visited a couple of villages to check the status of the toilets and saw that those which were supposed be missing were, in fact, found.
“Given the result of the survey so far I don’t think that there will be a different result after the survey of the remaining 150,000 lakh toilets,” he said.
A Press Information Bureau (PIB) release on February 13, quoting the ministry of jal shakti, had said in reference to the missing toilets that the survey was an informal and preliminary data collection exercise by swachhagrahis “to identify if any gaps have been left on the ground so as to ensure that no one is left behind”.
“Based on this preliminary report, the State Government initiated a formal verification process through district collectors. So far, about 46,365 of the ‘missing’ SBM toilets have been checked and it has been found that only 649 (1.39%) were actually missing,” it had said.
According to the Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin, the department of drinking water and sanitation under the ministry of Jal Shakti, as many as 66,03,469 toilets were built in Madhya Pradesh which showed an increase of 69.34% households with toilets.
As many as 51 districts, 22,839 gram panchayats and 50,228 villages of the central state have self-declared themselves as open defecation free (ODF) so far since October 2, 2014.