Community toilets can come up in forest lands under SBM
As space crunch is cited as a problem for toilet construction, the union ministry of environment and forests has granted approval for the construction of community latrines in forest areas under the Swachh Bharat Mission. Now, government agencies do not have to wait for permission or environment clearance for toilet construction in areas that fall under the Forest Conservation Act, 1980, provided the forest land requirement does not exceed one hectare. The general approval comes along with a host of conditions including restrictions on tree felling and protecting assigned lands from being diverted for purposes other than those intended.
Google to launch public toilet-locator app
The Union Ministry of Urban Development has signed a memorandum of understanding with Google India to develop a GPS-based mobile app to locate public toilets across the country. The app is expected to show not just public toilets constructed by the corporation and municipalities but also those present in public places like malls and stations. The app is currently undergoing testing and is expected to be rolled out in batches across India starting with Delhi NCR by November-end.
India tops list of countries with poor urban sanitation
With 157 million city dwellers lacking access to safe sanitation, India tops the list of countries with poor urban sanitation. According to the report released by WaterAid, India also has the highest number of urban residents defecating out in the open—a whopping 41 million. Despite Swachh Bharat Mission, the massive increase in rural to urban migration is responsible for poor sanitation services available to India’s urban dwellers.
UP orders physical verification of toilets constructed under SBM
The Uttar Pradesh government has ordered the physical verification of toilets constructed under the Swachh Bharat Mission in all districts following complaints of misuse across the state. Teams have been assigned to conduct the survey and also encourage people to use toilets in places where they are found to remain non-functional. The government provides a subsidy of Rs 12,000 for the construction of individual household toilets. The panchayati raj department has made it clear that strict action will be taken against people found misusing funds allotted for latrine construction.
Haryana approves over 1300 solid and liquid waste management projects
Haryana government has granted approval for 1,302 projects aiming to improve solid and liquid management across the state at a cost of Rs 341.65 crore. Solid and liquid waste management is an integral part of the Swachh Bharat Mission in addition to constructing individual household and public toilets. Two hundred and fifty nine such projects have already been completed in the state so far. In addition, 3,789 out of the total 6,204 gram panchayats have been declared open defecation free in Haryana.
This is a roundup of important sanitation related news published between November 12 and 18, 2016.
Lead image courtesy: Scitechdaily