MARGAO: The survey conducted by the village panchayats for making Salcete open defecation free has found no favour with the government as the directorate of panchayats has appointed self-help groups to carry out a survey on the requirement of toilets in each village.
Salcete will see construction of toilets in phase three which is expected to commence from early March.
Sources said that the directorate of panchayats had asked the village panchayats to provide statistics on the requirement of toilets. And, subsequently, the village panchayats had compiled data collected by the respective ward panch members, and submitted it to the directorate of panchayats.
Villages of Camurlim, Sarzora and Betalbatim had also sought from the directorate to declare certain wards open defecation free, however, the panchayat reports failed to find favour with the directorate of panchayats.
The sources said there have been lapses in the procedure followed by the directorate. “As we realised that the data provided by the panchayat members may not be accurate, we decided to scrap the earlier process and carry out a fresh survey by appointing self-help groups.”
The sources said that upon scrutiny, the directorate found that many panchayats had made random requests for constructing toilets without carrying out proper analysis, and added that given the ground situation, there are possibilities of panchayat members ignoring or misrepresenting facts keeping their vote bank’s interest in mind.
The sources said that the directorate has appointed self-help groups which will carry out ward-wise survey on requirement of toilets, repairing existing toilets, providing digesters and need for construction of community toilets.
Sources said that once the preliminary report is prepared, the block development officials will verify the reports by revisiting the villages before drawing the action plan.
The sources said that the government is very serious about stopping open defecation, and funds are available, however, given the present situation, there is a major task at hand of identifying areas which need attention. It is a big challenge to tackle open defecation, and hence the scenario has to be studied properly.
The sources further said that villages of Davorlim-Rumdamol, Sao Jose de Areal, Loutolim, Davorlim-Dicarpale, Velim, Assolna, Ambelim are among the critical villages in terms of sanitation, and large-scale open defecation is reported in these villages having a huge migrant population.
The sources said that the coastal villages which attract a large number of tourists also lack adequate sanitation facilities for both tourists and traders.
Source:: The Navhind Times