Plans to declare districts ODF fails

A majority of the people especially in rural areas were not using toilets due to lack of awareness.

By Author  |  Published: 22nd Jan 2017  8:53 pm

KarimnagarL: District administrations’ target to complete the construction of Integrated Sanitary Latrine (ISL) and declare their respected districts open defection free (ODF) areas by January 26 is turning out to be a tough task.

Although higher officials are making serious efforts to complete toilets, lack of awareness among the public and negligence of ground level staff are creating hurdles for the officials to achieve the target.

Except Peddapalli, officers of three districts of erstwhile Karimnagar had announced to declare their districts ODF by Republic Day and expedite the work to achieve their target. Collectors including Sarfaraz Ahmed (Karimnagar), Dr A Sharat (Jagityal) and D Krishna Bhaskar (Rajanna-Sircilla) conducted review meetings with the officials of departments concerned and asked them to speed up the construction process. But, they are unable to declare their district ODF since a majority of the units are yet to ground.

While Jagityal Collector postponed ODF announcement to February 15, Karimangar and Rajanna collectors are still making relentless efforts to achieve the target. Jagityal Collector, who had successfully constructed 820 toilets within a span of 36 hours in five selected villages, has failed to complete pending units in other villages. He had printed a separate wall poster to educate the people and appointed in-charge officers to mandals, villages, and wards to complete the task within the given time frame but in vain. About 20,000 ISL units are still under construction, it is learnt.

Participating in ISL awareness programme held in Karimnagar recently, Finance and Civil Supplies Minister Eatela Rajender wanted the officials to complete the pending 15 per cent ISL units by Republic Day. He asked the public representatives to cooperate with officials to achieve the target. Collector had also conducted review meetings with officials but there was no significant progress.

Though Rajanna district officials are contemplating to declare the district ODF, 10 per cent units are still pending. Though Sircilla Aassembly constituency had been already declared ODF, two new mandals Illanthakunta and Boinpalli were added to the segment to announce it as a district and construction work is under progress in these mandals.

A district level officer said district authorities’ announcement as ODF was not final. Central team would take decision on that after conducting a comprehensive assessment. Usage of ISL toilet by the members of the family was the most important aspect for central team’s assessment.

A majority of the people especially in rural areas were not using toilets due to lack of awareness. Officers were completing the units for the sake of records but not taking steps to educate the people, he said.