Swachh Bharat only on papers, the reality is different in Rural Karnataka

Health State Taluk

Only 3 percent households own toilets in Muddebihal Taluk, funds still not reaching the beneficiaries

By Shivani Verma

Muddebihal: As per Taluk wise data report on NBA survey by Grama Panchayats, 96 percent  households do not have toilets. Out of 45,135 households in Muddebihal Taluk, only 1,525 households have toilets.

“It’s been around 20 to 30 years that people here are living without toilets. Many people have already applied for the funds which they are entitled to, to construct toilets in their house. Swachh Bharat is just on papers because, in reality, it hasn’t reached us yet,” said Allabaksh Moulana, a resident of Muddebihal Taluk, which comes under Vijayapura district.

As per Swachh Bharat Mission Guidelines, the Central government incentive for the construction of household toilets will be Rs. 4,000 per toilet for each identified beneficiary household, in the states and UTs.

Sitaram Chouhan, a resident of Muddebihal Taluk, said, “I have applied for the funds long ago but didn’t get any aid from them till now. It’s really uncomfortable that my family members and I still defecate in the open. I have some space built outside my house, specifically for the construction of the toilet but I don’t have the required funds to build the same by myself.”

The Central Government should release 50 percent incentive to the identified beneficiary household through the Urban Local Bodies (ULB) as 1st installment. There is no bar on releasing any extra funds at any stage using additional resources generated or provided by state government or ULB.

States will contribute a minimum of Rs 2,667 per Individual Household Latrine Application (IHHL) towards individual toilets to match Central Share of Rs 4,000 per IHHL.

Deginala Preeti Sharanabasappa, a Muddebihal Taluk Panchayat member, said, “I don’t have the authority to know how much of funds have been released to build toilets and how many people have toilets in Muddebihal Taluk. I haven’t verified the number of houses that have toilets in the taluk.”

As per district wise report on Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA) survey entries by Grama Panchayats, out of 3,30,377 households, 3,15,756 households are without toilets in Vijayapura District. . Only 14,621 households have toilets as of now in the district.

 “We have constructed the toilets for whatever funds we have received from the Central and State government. In total there should be 2000 toilets. But right now we have 1700 toilets and we are planning to construct the rest of them in the coming days,” Maadigibhai, Chief officer of Muddebihal Taluk told The Softcopy.

Ramesh Kumar, a senior audit officer, said, “The issue here is that first, people don’t know that a scheme like this is functional and second, the funds are not diverted either to the correct place or they are delayed. There’s still a need for awareness on both ends. Also, the Gram Panchayats in Rural India are generally ignorant about the issues faced by the people who live there.”