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Amid Centre's Audit of Swachh Bharat, UP Govt Conducted ‘Women-based’ Survey on Households Without Toilets

In the survey, UP’s Panchayati Raj ministry also hopes to map the number of women village heads and their extended families with toilets in their homes.

Aditya Sharma | News18.com@aditya_shz

Updated:November 6, 2019, 11:58 AM IST
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Amid Centre's Audit of Swachh Bharat, UP Govt Conducted ‘Women-based’ Survey on Households Without Toilets
Representative image.

New Delhi: The Uttar Pradesh government has launched a survey to count the number of women-headed families without toilets after lapses were reported in the implementation of the Swachh Bharat Mission in the state.

In the survey, UP’s Panchayati Raj ministry also hopes to map the number of women village heads and their extended families with toilets in their homes and the usage of the toilets created under the Swachh Bharat mission.

News18 has accessed a letter dated October 16, 2019 by Panchayati Raj ministry secretary Preeti Shukla addressed to all district magistrates in the state.

The letter also contains a check list of questions for the survey. The list of 14 questions refers to a previous October 14 letter ordering “necessary action on the monitoring and local inspection of women-based activities and programs in schemes operated by the Panchayati raj ministry”.

“Given that the survey is one of the state government’s priorities, a check list has been attached for the field monitoring and inspection of women-based programs and schemes by authorised female nodal officials,” read the letter, a copy of which has been marked to the state’s ministry of women and child development and state’s Swachh Bharat mission director.

Other ‘thematic points’ in the letter besides the Swachh Bharat mission are female gram pradhan/female samiti head/female ward representative on trainings attended, availability of safe-drinking water in gram panchayats, use of safe sanitary napkins and cleanliness in gram panchayat etc.

An official in the state, who is privy to these developments, said the new survey may be a way “to test state institutions” after lapses were reported in the implementation of Swachh Bharat scheme in Uttar Pradesh.

The order from the Panchayati Raj ministry to “monitor and locally inspect” status of toilets comes at a time when the Jal Shakti ministry has dispatched a six-member team to inspect the Swachh Bharat mission in Uttar Pradesh. Both letters were written on the same date, October 14, but by two different authorities. The Panchayati Raj ministry is responsible for running the centrally sponsored scheme in states.

The Centre’s intervention in the Swachh Bharat mission in UP came via Jal Shakti ministry additional secretary Arun Baroka’s letter to the Yogi Adityanath government informing it of the inspection team being dispatched. The state government then set up its own inspection team.

According to the letter dated October 15 which News18 had earlier reported, the Jal Shakti ministry team did a field visit on October 18 and 19 to ascertain the number of toilets constructed, check the status of geo-tagging of toilets, the execution of ‘Left Out Beneficiaries’ (LOB) process, the construction of community toilets and the establishment of the Open Defecation Free Board in 26 districts of the state.

The inspection team was formed after SBM (Rural) director Dr Bramhadev Ram Tiwari sent a letter to district magistrates on September 20 to highlight the figure of 14.62 lakh toilet-less households in UP despite the state being declared ‘Open Defecation Free’ in October 2018.

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