Karnataka for making manual scavenging legal to get rid of pesky scavenger deaths
In a bizarre announcement, Karnataka’s social welfare minister H. Anjaneya has informed that the state plans to introduce a legislation seeking to legalise manual scavenging for emergency situations. This announcement comes despite the presence of a central law and a Supreme Court order which prohibit the employment of manual scavengers, no matter what the circumstances are. The minister clarified that the social welfare department is looking to introduce manual cleaning of sewers and underground drainage structures legal in the presence of officials from the fire department, civic agencies and the police to make the entire exercise safer.
All government schools in Telangana to have toilets before school reopens for the next academic year
The deputy chief minister and education minister of Telangana Kadiyam Srihari has promised that all government schools in the state will be equipped with functional toilets before they reopen for the next academic year in June. Legislators have been asked to report any instance of noncompliance to authorities to fix the issue at the earliest. Despite many of the schools having at least one toilet, the deputy CM agreed to the fact that maintenance was a huge concern. Many legislators felt that the problem of toilets was felt more acutely in girls’ schools as both numbers and maintenance were found to be lacking. The minister informed that funds ranging from Rs 30,000 to Rs 1 lakh were being allotted to schools for the upkeep of toilet complexes.
Restaurant and hotel washrooms to turn into public toilets in South Delhi
The South Delhi municipal corporation is looking to enforce a rule which opens up toilets in hotels and restaurants to the public for a reasonable user fee of Rs 5. In order to enforce this, the corporation is expected to alter provisions of the health trade licences. According to it, toilets in restaurants and hotels in localities like Saket and Hauz Khas will now be opened for public use to make up for the lack of public convenience facilities. Though this was mooted by the lieutenant governor and officials from the civic body, some hotel owners are still not convinced as they feel it violates their rights of admission, especially in an upmarket locality like South Delhi.
People defecating out in the open face arrest in Nagpur
In a bid to make the smart city completely free from open defecation, the municipal commissioner of Nagpur has issued a directive to corporation officials to arrest all those defecating out in the open. According to strict directives issued by the municipal corporation, police action will be initiated against those found relieving themselves in the open in addition to levying fines. Statistics point out that despite the ongoing latrine construction activities, over 50,000 people currently defecate out in the open in the city of Nagpur, which also includes people with toilets at home.
Woman leader builds 650 toilets to make her panchayat open defecation free
Enterprising woman leader Mazharkodi Dhanasekar has ensured that her panchayat in Tamil Nadu’s Sivagangai district was made free from open defecation by constructing 650 toilets. As funds were difficult to come by in remote, outlying panchayats such as Melamarungoor, Mazharkodi decided to change the face of the panchayat to grab the attention of district officials. From relaying pockmarked roads to ensuring drinking water supply, the leader got down to business. The biggest highlight was completing latrine construction at a nominal cost of Rs 13,500 per toilet across the panchayat of which Rs 12000 was provided as latrine construction subsidy under the Swachh Bharat Mission by the union government.
This is a roundup of important sanitation related news published between March 11 and 17, 2016.
Lead image courtesy: Swarajya