Skip to main content

Parliamentary panel doubts Centre "declaring" 9 top states, including Gujarat, 100% villages open defecation free

By Our Representative
Taking strong exception to the Government of India declaring villages of 10 major Indian states – Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand – as having achieved 100% sanitation coverage, a Parliament committee report, released in the Lok Sabha on July 19, has observed the dream of the Father of the Nation “for total sanitation for all and a clean India is still elusive.”
Also disagreeing that with the claim the rural areas of nine big states have even become “open defecation free” (ODF), the Parliamentary committee on rural development (2017-18), in its 59-page report, observes, “Contrary to the figures being projected by the Ministry, the Committee, while examining the subject, was of the view that the sanitation coverage figures seemed to be more on paper, but the actual progress at the ground level is very lethargic”.
Prepared under Dr P Venugopal (Lok Sabha, AIADMK), chairperson, Standing Committee on Rural Development, the report says, “Even a village with 100% household toilets cannot be declared ODF till all the inhabitants start using them. The main thrust of the Government should be on the usage of toilets as mere building of toilets alone is not sufficient for the realization of actual vision of an ODF country.”
It adds, “The visible reality through the experiences reveal that much more is needed to be done so as to obtain the ‘behavioural change’ in rural populace to attain the real motive behind the programme.”
Finding the performance of some states – especially Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Odisha – is very low, ranging from 55% to 85%, the report observes, even the “secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, admitted about the dismal performance of bigger States”.
Pointing towards “poor nature of construction and low quality of raw materials being used in the construction of toilets under SBM(G), as found by committee members and through different feed-backs.”, the report insists, “No amount of infrastructural development under Swacch Bharat Mission (Gramin) or SBM(G) will sustain ODF, until and unless the issue of durability and quality of construction of toilets is taken due care of.”
Villages declared open declaration free
Noting lack of “sound credibility on the ODF data”, the report states, there is a need to do “survey and regular re-survey” in order to “identify and rectify the defunct toilets over a period of time.” It adds, “The inclusion of the number of toilet in the data does not reveal a real picture of ODF until and unless the ‘coverage’ data and ‘usable’ data in regard to the functional toilets are same.”
Especially referring to the Government of India data, which claim that “77 % households in rural India have access to toilets and about 93% of them use toilets regularly”, the report states, “It has been observed in the past that fall back rate of ODF declared villages were very high.”
This, it states, this was so “either due to filing of wrong information regarding attaining of ODF, or due to non-sustainability of toilets, such villages reverted back to open defecation, thus rendering the entire exercise futile, while on data, they remain ODF.”
According to the committee, “At a time when the major parts of the country are under severe water shortage, the idea of attaining ODF status for 100% sanitation coverage across the nation seems farcical. Availability of water resource is of utmost importance and mere construction of toilets without water is of no use and wastage of resources.”
The situation is bad, says the report, even as, during the year 2018-19 (as on May 24, 2018), “there was huge unspent balance to the tune of Rs 9,890.84 crore under SBM(G)”, adding, “The problem of unspent balance is more prominent in certain states.”
Thus, in Uttar Pradesh Rs 2836.82 crore were lying unspent, in Bihar Rs 2764.62 crore, in Madhya Pradesh Rs. 866.68 crore, in Assam Rs. 606.30 crore, in Odisha Rs. 436.71 crore, in Andhra Pradesh Rs. 420.16 crore are lying unspent.
The report states, “Broad reasons responsible for unspent balances has been inadequate capacity building at grass root level and existence of revolving funds and leveraging other sources of credit etc.”
---
Download full report HERE

Comments

Uma said…
ODF is a distant dream. Our CM also made an announcement and the next day, the papers had pics of men defecating in the open

TRENDING

Misleading ads 'manipulate, seduce, lure' to market unhealthy harmful food

By Our Representative  The Nutrition Advocacy in Public Interest (NAPI) in its new report “50 Shades of Food Advertising” has sought to expose how seductive, luring, manipulative or deceptive these advertisements can be. Consequences of such advertising are increased intake of unhealthy food products that is associated with obesity and diabetes, it says. 

Why's Govt of India reluctant to consider battery storage system for renewal energy?

By Shankar Sharma*  If having so many small size battery energy storage system (BESS) at different locations of the grid, as in the report from Australia (a portfolio of 27 small battery storage projects across three Australian states that will total arounds 270 MWh), is considered to be techno-economically attractive in a commercially driven market such as Australia, the question that becomes a lot more relevance to Indian scenario is: why are our planners not in favour of installing such small size BESS at most of the distribution sub-stations not only to accelerate the addition of RE power capacities, but also to minimise the need for large size solar/ wind power parks, dedicated transmission lines and pumped storage plants; which will also minimise the associated technical losses.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

'Failure of governance': India, China account for 54% pollution-related deaths globally

By Vikas Parsaram Meshram*   A recent report jointly prepared by UNICEF and the independent research organization Health Effects Institute has been released, and the statistics within it are alarming. It states that in 2021, air pollution caused the deaths of 2.1 million Indians, including 169,000 children who hadn't yet fully experienced life. These figures are indeed distressing and raise questions about why there hasn't been more serious effort in this direction, putting policymakers to shame. 

New MVA-INDIA MPs asked to raise Maharashtra milk farmers' demand

By Our Representative  All-India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) national president Dr Ashok Dhawale and AIKS Maharashtra general secretary Dr Ajit Nawale have asked three newly-elected MPs of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA-INDIA) from the milk belt of Maharashtra Dr Amol Kolhe (NCP),  Bhausaheb Wakchaure (SS), and Nilesh Lanke (NCP), to take up the cause of milk farmers of Maharashtra in Parliament.  After congratulating them on their resounding victory over their BJP-NDA rivals, the AIKS leaders apprised them of the milk farmers struggle which is intensifying in the state under the leadership of the AIKS and the Milk Farmers Joint Struggle Committee, and requested them to support it. All three MPs agreed not only to support, but also to take the initiative in this struggle, an official AIKS communique claimed. Farmers in Maharashtra are currently getting as low as Rs 24-27 per litre for cow milk, which is being sold in the market for Rs 56-60 per litre, the AIKS leaders noted. The low price to farmer

Report suggests Indian democracy 'hasn't achieved' equitable economic decentralization

By Vikas Parsaram Meshram  The news that the current economic inequality in the country is worse than during British rule is unsettling. This suggests the harsh reality that our democracy has not achieved equitable economic decentralization. A recent report by Thomas Piketty and three other economists reveals shocking findings: in 2023-24, the top 1% of the wealthiest people in India hold 40% of the nation's wealth, with a 22.6% share in income.