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Swachh Bharat anniversary: Haryana pushes for more public toilets

Statesman News Service | Chanidgarh |

Aiming to make urban areas open defecation-free (ODF), Haryana government is trying to increase the number of public or community toilets as individual house-hold latrines (IHHL) were still a luxury in many of the thickly populated localities.

Though 57,640 household toilets have been sanctioned since the launch of Swachh Bharat Mission (SWM) in November 2014, the state has identified the need for 988 community or public toilets. Out of this, more than 545 toilets have been completed.

The number of such proposed public toilets is highest in Amabla (149), Gurugram (132), Faridabad (125) and Panchkula (95). The percentage of progress in construction of public toilets is about 60 per cent, while the same is about 53 per cent for IHHLs.
“In cities like Gurugram and Fridabad, large number of migrants have no access to toilets as they mostly live in houses where there are no separate toilets for them. Most house owners make just one or two toilets for large number of tenants, so instances of open defecation are high in open areas close to such congested localities,” said a senior official.

An advisor of the Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Dr Yogendra Malik told The Statesman that as land availability is low in urban areas and it was not possible to make available IHHLs to everyone,  stress is being given on making public or community toilets easily available. As per funding pattern under SWM, while the Centre government provides an assistance of Rs 4,000 for household toilet, the state provides Rs 10,000 as its share for the same.

When it comes to community or public toilets, Centre and the state governments provides 40 per cent each of the per seat cost of Rs 39,200. The rest expenditure is met by the concerned urban local body (ULB). Of the 80  ULBs in Haryana, 14 including Sirsa, Ellanabad, Rania, Kalanwali, Mandi Dabwali,  Thanesar, , Shahabad, Pehowa,  Ladwa, Panipart and Karnal  have already been declared ODF. About 34 more self-declared ULBs are awaiting a confirmation of UDF status.

All of Haryana’s 6,205 panchayats have already been declared ODF.  According to a survey, out of the total 30.24 lakh rural households in Haryana, 7.3 lakh households were without toilets in 2012.  The 100 per cent coverage of the toilets has been achieved in rural areas by constructing more than 7.51 lakh toilets. After the state government put the condition that persons wishing to contest elections to panchayati raj institutions must have functional toilets in their houses, about 51,000 toilets were constructed.