Sixty per cent of the corporates and public sector undertakings, which had committed to constructing toilets under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’, have set up less than 100 lavatories booked under their names, a report has claimed.
“Corporates and PSUs are supposed to construct 1,50,000 toilets according to the action plan. While (Prime Minister) Modi’s call to companies led to a spurt of corporate announcements committing to contribute to the programme, only 12 corporates came forward to book projects.
“Their plans cover only 35 per cent of all toilets to be constructed. Moreover, 60 per cent of them constructed less than 100 toilets booked under their names,” claimed the report titled ‘Race for toilets’ published in science and environment magazine ‘Down to Earth’.
Corporates and PSUs are supposed to construct 1,50,000 toilets according to the action plan and both categories have 1,45,000 toilets booked under their names, it said, adding “Even if we were to consider that all approved projects have been carried out, there is still a shortfall of 5000 toilets.”
Modi in his Independence Day speech earlier today had said the government has “almost” achieved the target of ensuring separate toilets for boys and girls in schools across the country.
In his last Independence Day speech from Red Fort, the Prime Minister had promised to ensure separate toilets for boys and girls in schools across the country within a year, as lack of such facilities were keeping girls away from schools in many pockets of the country.
“When we took up the work and team India realised its responsibilities, it was discovered that there were 2.62 lakh schools where over 4.25 lakh toilets are needed. The figure was so big that there would have been requests to extend the deadline.
“But see the resolve of team India. No one put up such a request and today on August 15, I congratulate team India that they have respected the tricolour and have left no stone unturned to realise the dream and almost accomplished constructing the toilets,” Modi said in his speech.
The report also claimed that private corporates have contributed only one per cent of the fund while PSUs have contributed 41 per cent, indicating a sharp difference between their commitments and actions.
“Even in June this year, the PSUs showed a lack of interest in constructing toilets and the state fund under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan had to be utilised to speed up construction.” it said.
“The government must get its act together and ensure that PSUs and private corporates are motivated enough,” the report added.