Open defecation still prevails in Nellore

Open defecation still prevails in Nellore
Highlights

You may certainly be surprised in many villages of the ODF district, Nellore, when people prefer open defecation due to poor utilisation of toilets as some have been unfinished, semi-finished and some were being not preferred by the villagers. The longstanding practice of open defecation is still rampant in many villages. Thanks to the administration that maintained the ‘tradition’ even after dec

Nellore : You may certainly be surprised in many villages of the ODF district, Nellore, when people prefer open defecation due to poor utilisation of toilets as some have been unfinished, semi-finished and some were being not preferred by the villagers. The longstanding practice of open defecation is still rampant in many villages. Thanks to the administration that maintained the ‘tradition’ even after declaring the district as ODF.

Highlights:

  • Even though 2 lakh out of planned 2.44 lakh toilets in Nellore district are completed majority are not functional at field level
  • Interestingly, bills were paid to around 2.3 lakh latrines till now
  • 3,030 villages across the state have backlogs of 4.89 lakh toilets which are to be completed

This is not only in Nellore district but also in many parts of state that were declared as ODF by the state government at the end of this financial year. Statistics say around 3,030 villages in Nellore, Chittoor, and West Godavari are still lagging behind completing targets even after 3 months are over in the new financial year.

District administration declared pompously that they had reached targets announcing the district as ODF by the end of March this year. At the end of February, they announced they had completed 700 Gram Panchayats against the total of 936 in 46 mandals.

Records say out of 5, 67,120 rural households 3, 24,537 households were lacking toilets. Out of 2.44 lakh targeted toilets with Rs. 350 cr across the district officials were able to complete around 2 lakh. But, majority are not functional due to various reasons.

The Central government also announced its assistance of Rs. 7,200 for constructing household toilets besides making provision for conversion of insanitary latrines into pour-flush latrines under Swachh Bharath Mission. Soon after the district administration provided data of completed toilets in the district, state government awarded with the first place even though thousands are still to be made fully functional.

In fact, the district administration had announced named Swachh Bharat programme as ‘Atmagowaram’ in the district aiming to construct Individual Household Latrines (IHHLs) using CLTS (Community Led Total Sanitation) in rural areas.

State government provided Rs. 7,800 along with Rs. 7,200 from the central government soon after the beneficiary constructs the toilet under Atmagowaram programme. As a major achievement the district administration had completed construction of 1,554 IHHLs in 36 hours in 19 villages of Manubole mandal.

For instance, when this correspondent visited a small GrampanchayatKothavangallu which located 20 km from the district headquarters, is having semi-finished toilets and the villagers of Doruvudibba, Vaddipalem and Guntakatta visit their nearby open places for nature’s call on a daily basis.
The reason is simple that constructed household toilets are unfinished and semi-finished. The situation is prevalent in many villages across the district.

“When these people prefer open defecation how the government had declared the district as ODF? The nearby places of the habitations witness ugly scenes in the morning and evening hours on a regular basis and what is the use of getting awards? The state government has to realize the situation and put efforts for completion of the pending structures,” said K Srihari from the Panchayat.

Interestingly, version of the officials was different as the villagers were not showing much interest on completing the toilets even though the district administration warned of imposing restrictions on getting essential commodities from FP dealers without having a toilet.

By P V Prasad

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