Mumbai: Only 15 percent of city got toilets under Swachh Bharat mission in 5 yrs
While 21,464 people applied for toilets, only 3,222 got them, with the main problem being the non-availability of sewer lines.
Even after five years of the Swachh Bharat Mission being launched, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has managed to build only 15 per cent of the total number of Individual Household Latrine toilets applied for under the mission. While 21,464 people had applied for individual toilets, BMC approved only 9,081 and has managed to build 3,222 till date.
One of the primary reasons that the civic body has stated for this delay is the non-availability of sewer lines. Ram Barot, corporator and member of the standing committee, had raised the issue regarding the status of individual toilets at a meeting held on November 11. In its response to the matter, the BMC administration said it received 21,464 applications for IHL till November 18, 2019. However, only 3,222 toilets have been constructed and 33 are still under construction.
Private toilets built by locals at Pardi Kupi village in Gadchiroli. File pic
Requesting anonymity, a civic official said, "In most slums there is lack of space. It is also not possible to lay sewer lines in narrow lanes and low-lying areas. It is also quite difficult to lay sewer lines in hilly areas. We are not being able to construct the individual toilets due to lack of sewer lines." He added that many of the community toilet blocks were being constructed using septic tanks.
In another response to corporator Rakhi Jadhav, the BMC administration said that they had aimed at laying a 93.68-km-long sewer network by 2023-24, but they have only managed 4.84 km of it. Jadhav had pointed out that the Mumbai Sewage Disposal Project had started in 2002 but the work hasn't been completed even after 17 years.
"Though it is only 15 per cent of the total number of applications, it is still hard to believe that so many individual toilets have been constructed. BMC officials have refused to provide connections for community toilets despite several requests due to the poor sewer network. Then how can BMC take the initiative to build so many individuals toilets?" asked Supria Sonar, an activist of Right to Pee movement.
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