Lack of toilets lead to open defecation

City Health

Ambedkar Nagar village has only 50 toilets in 250 houses. BBMP says the problem is because of less space in the area.

Shubhangi Mathur

In Ambedkar Nagar village near Baiyappanahali, out of 250 houses only 50 have toilets in their homes. This results in residents of the area going to the nearby forest for defecation. Women and children of the area are affected the most.

The people living in the area say that nothing has been done to solve the problem by Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) or anyone in-charge.  The toilets in the 50 houses of the area are constructed by the people of the houses themselves. The waste from these toilets is disposed in pits made near their houses.

A resident of Ambedkar Nagar village, Bhagya Lakshmi said, “We have been living in such condition from years. Nobody, including BBMP authorities, has built toilets in the area. MLA Aravind Limbavali promises us every time during elections to build toilets but never does so.”

The BBMP officer Mr. Vinayaka, the ward engineer of the area said, “The problem is because of the lack of space in the area” while BBMP Executive Engineer of Ambedkar Nagar, Mr. Narayan Swami, said that he has no information about the issue and he will look in the matter.

Guidelines for Swachh Bharat Mission

The Swachh Bharat Mission launched by PM Narendra Modi in 2014, aims at building toilets and eliminating open defecation in the country. A report in February 2019 indicated that the scope of hygiene has increased from 40 per cent to 98 per cent after the launch of Swachh Bharat Mission.  However, Ambedkar Nagar is yet to have the toilets. The guidelines for Swachh Bharat Mission- Urban say, “Beneficiary households will be targeted under this scheme irrespective of whether they live in authorized/unauthorized colonies or notified / non-notified slums.”

The HOD of Civil Engineering Department at Rajarajeshwari Engineering College, Dr. V Ramesh sees this as an unhygienic condition prevalent in the city. He said, “The Karnataka Slum Development Board (KSDB) must also look into this matter.”

Image courtesy of Neetu Saini
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