Thursday, November 6, 2014

Odisha's ambitious toilet construction plan to fail: WIO Occasional Bulletin 6th Nov 2014!

Water Initiatives Odisha (WIO) Occasional Update: 6th November 2014

Odisha’s ambitious toilet construction plan to fail!

From the current record of mere 57 toilets per day, the state plans an unrealistic jump to 13333

Dear Friends/Co-sailors,

Greetings from Water Initiatives Odisha!

We just got to know from media sources about an unrealistic toilet construction target the Govt. of Odisha has set for itself.  This update is a quick response to this.

As per information available, the Rural Development Secretary of the state has, during a teleconferencing, informed to the union government of its plan to build 15 lakh toilets by 31st March 2015 under the Prime Minister’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.  While 3 lakh of these toilets will be built by 31st December this year, the remaining 12 lakh will be completed by 31st March 2015. 

This means the state government has to build 5455 toilets per day till December 31st this year and 13333 toilets per day from January to March 2015.  This is too unrealistic for a state whose toilet construction rate per day so far this year has been a meagre 57 per day.

The state has always lagged behind the national average in constructing toilets by huge margins. An analysis done by WIO finds out that, “Last year, even as the national average of toilet construction per day was 13634, it was only 92 in the state of Odisha.  In fact, the previous year i.e. 2012-13 it had a better record of 324 toilets per day which has only gone down recently”. 

With such a poor record, the state government’s target is nothing but day dreaming and set to fail.

 In fact, a Swachh Bharat or Clean India cannot be achieved if the effort is limited to such target based construction of toilets.  There is no guarantee that the toilets would be used.  Besides building toilets, the government should ensure water supply and promote use of the toilets.  Usability of toilets in rural Odisha is pathetically low at the moment. Then, it has to have proper management plan for the faecal sludge, which is almost absent. If at all the toilets are constructed in such a mad rush, the quality of construction is surely going to suffer thus reducing the chance of their usability further.

Further, such hurried construction leaves a lot of scope for corruption.  The government needs to emphasise on quality and usability rather than such unrealistic targets. 

For further information, please contact:

Ranjan Panda

Convenor, Water Initiatives Odisha*
Convenor, Combat Climate Change Network, INDIA
Mahanadi River Waterkeeper (Member, Global Waterkeeper Alliance)

Mobile: +91-9437050103

Tweet @ranjanpanda
Skype: ranjan.climatecrusader

You can also see this update on my blog @

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*Water Initiatives Odisha (WIO) is a state level coalition of civil society organisations, farmers, academia, media and other concerned, which has been working on water, environment and climate change issues in the state for more than two decades now.

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