Raipur’s Balod janpad declared open defecation-free, gaping holes in loo constructions

RAIPUR: Glaring anomalies were found in yet another janpad block Guroor at Balod district that was felicitated for ‘supposedly’ achieving the target of Prime Minister’s Swachh Bharat Mission recently.
While the residents complained that toilets are either incomplete or made with substandard material that has already started damaging, the janpad CEO earned bouquets for the work which is yet to see the light of the day.
Similarly, another block Daundi that was also declared ODF and felicitated few months ago was also in limelight for the same reason. This is not the first time that anomalies in toilets made under Swachh Bharat Mission has come to the fore, many parts of Chhattisgarh has different tales to tell related to quality, incompleteness, sarpanch burdened with loans of lakhs, people still going to field to relieve themselves etc.

“Newly constructed toilet at my home is incomplete because sarpanch told me administration would pay me Rs 12,000 if I build toilet at my home, though I started building it but facing shortage of funds, work didn’t complete, nor did I get any penny. Moreover toilets made aren’t sustainable at all, it seems like the roof would come down anytime and the walls are already cracking,” Vinod Netam from Parsauli village of Guroor block told TOI.
He added that people are being forced to work as labourers under MGNREGA by the contractors to build their own toilets and they are being asked to give the payment back to contractors via their account.

When asked about complaining about the issue, Vinod said, “We don’t have much information about ODF and its process. Sarpanch or CEOs just tell us that either they would build toilets at our home or we should get it built on the payment of Rs 12000. We don’t know whom or how to complain.”

Another Milap Patel of Sorar village has almost the same story to tell, he says, although toilets are built in the homes but everyone still goes to the field and open defecation continues.

“Because there’s only an infrastructure of a toilet which either has no seat or no water tank. Some of the toilets have no doors others do not have roofs. On complaining, we are promised that the work would finish soon. The situation is same only that a very small room has been built on our premises which is of no use,” Patel said.
When contacted Ravi Kumar, Janpad CEO Guroor, who was felicitated for declaring Guroor ODF on April 24, he said, “according to what I know the block is ODF. I am not informed about what villagers are complaining. If they come to me, I will get it checked.”

Similarly, Janpad CEO of Daundi block was felicitated on August 15, 2016 that suffers from similar irregularities with mere infrastructure standing on the premises of each house. Moreover, people are burdened with lakhs of loan as the contractors haven’t paid them the amount.

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