Sanitation woes continue in Urban India:

  • Non-usage of toilets:
    • One independent survey shows toilets are not used by up to half the population in some places, underscoring the challenge ahead.
  • Poor quality of toilets:
    • The challenges for the campaign will be to build toilets which are women and physically disabled friendly and have continuous piped water supply.
    • many of these toilets do not have proper water supply, lighting, ventilation and liquid waste management system.
    • Instead of chasing numbers, the focus should be on building quality toilets for people to use
  • Piped Water Supply:
    • Water supply remains a critical area even under the Swachh Bharat Mission.
    • Piped water supply is one of the essentials of having a sound sanitation system. But laying of pipes for water supply is a huge challenge in urban India.
    • It becomes even more challenging to draw plans and restructure existing water pipelines in urban areas due to involvement of various agencies like civic bodies and urban local bodies.
    • There is often non-cooperation at various levels, resulting in delays in implementation of plans.
    • This leads to a big gap between the number of toilets constructed and toilets with piped water supply
  • Sanitation Problem:
    • Drainage is a more severe problem in urban areas as many drainage systems in urban India are old constructions which often lead faecal sludge directly to water bodies, resulting in environmental pollution.
    • Absence of proper drainage means that faecal waste accumulates near the toilet area, resulting in health hazards.
    • Many of the toilets built under the mission had drainage systems which carried sewage directly to rivers.
  • Some of the other impediments in achieving ODF cities or villages include lack of clarity and motivation at local level, lack of funds for construction of toilets, lack of space for construction of individual toilets, issues linked with building permissions to toilets, construction and maintenance of community toilets and lack of awareness and behavioural issues at household level.