Files for toilets from panchayats are pending with the director of panchayats for the last five years, admits BDO
VALPOI: The toilet cleaning remark of Senior Rane has become a hot topic for discussion in Goa right now. Incidentally, Sr Rane’s constituency in Sattari Taluka where he is the incumbent MLA for over two decades, fifty per cent of the villagers defecate in the open as they do not have toilets at home.
Locals have now and then, through their panchayats, demanded the government build them toilets. The files are reportedly lying in the Block Development Office for the past five years.
“We are in the 21st century. The lifestyle of living has totally changed. Although no one likes to defecate in the open, the villagers are forced to answer nature’s call in the open in the absence of toilets at home. Being poor they also cannot afford to build one as they are not well off financially,” said a villager.
The Water Supply Department, Valpoi have so far built 6656 toilets of five seaters under the 'Sulabh Shauchalaya Individual Scheme' in Sattari Taluka. Of these, 3353 are in Valpoi constituency while 3303 fall in Poriem constituency. From 1985 to 2009, the water supply department, Valpoi had constructed 6421 toilets and from 2014 to 2015 they had added 235 more in the taluka.
Surprisingly the department does not have the record of the toilets built from 2009 to 2014. Many of the toilets have already collapsed apparently due to poor maintenance and the Government has now to carry out a survey in the taluka, said another villager.
The Water Supply Department, Valpoi had submitted the last file for toilets to the Government in 2016 which is still pending. The file includes the list of 1,778 toilets estimated to cost around Rs 5.18 crore. The following is the requirement according to the panchayats; Morlem (425), Keri (259), Mauxi (180), Guleli (200), Nagargao (250), Savordem (114) and the Valpoi Municipal Council (100).
The Central Government has also modified the Sulabh Shauchalaya Scheme and is now providing Rs 40,000 to the earlier Rs 25,000 to build a toilet. The cost is also shared with the Government bearing 50% and the remaining borne by the owner.
The Block Development Office, Sattari Taluka has already submitted the toilets’ file to the Director of Panchayats, who will first check the authenticity and pass it to the Water Supply Department after approving it,” says the BDO officer.
“In 2012, I had submitted a file to the Block Development Office, Sattari from my Panchayat area. While taking note of that file the then Chief minister Manohar Parrikar had promised us to solve the issue but Morlem villagers are still waiting for their toilets,” says Sushant Paste, Deputy Sarpanch, Morlem Panchayat.
“We had submitted a list of toilets required in Bhironda Panchayat area, five years ago. I have also done the follow up of that file many times. The Government has still not sanctioned it,” says Nitin Shivdekar Sarpanch, Bhironda Panchayat.
Goa is a very small State compared to the other States, still we cannot build a toilet in our own house. This shows that the unemployment rate is high in Goa, he added.