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Two Days After PM Narendra Modi's Visit, 'Swachhagrahis' Defecate in Open in Bapu's Champaran

During the event, all arrangements of food and lodging was in place, including a large number of portable toilets. However, many of these toilets ran out of capacity as faeces filled up quickly. So, the sanitation motivators chose to defecate in open.

Mukesh Kumar, Alok Kumar

Updated:April 14, 2018, 12:12 PM IST
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Two Days After PM Narendra Modi's Visit, 'Swachhagrahis' Defecate in Open in Bapu's Champaran
Image of the temporary toilets built for the 20,000 swachhagrahis who came to attend the Prime Minister's sanitation programme.
Champaran: The residents of the historic Champaran district are facing a huge sanitation challenge as the municipality failed to hygienically treat temporary toilets installed for those attending the Prime Minister's 'Swachhagrah' programme.

As many as 20,000 'Swachhgrahis' or sanitation motivators, who arrived in Champaran on April 7 for the PM's April 10 programme, defecated in the open during their three-day stay.

Now, the city of Bapu, known for the historic Satyagraha movement in 1917, is grappling with the problem of human waste in a long stretch, starting from the tent city which was built near the airport. After the PM's visit, having failed to plan in advance, now the local administration has chosen a short cut which is more hazardous for the environment.

A long queue of septic tank cleaner vehicles used to flush the waste can be seen at bank of Dhanauti river near Bariarpur Chawk.

On April 10, PM Narendra Modi addressed Swachhagrahis , the messengers of cleanliness, with the message of 'Satyagrah se Swachhagrah'. People from 26 states, the sprawling tent city drew attention of outsiders as they arrived for the three days event.

During the event, all arrangements of food and lodging were in place, including a large number of portable toilets. However, many of these toilets ran out of capacity as faeces filled up quickly. So, they chose to defecate in open, making it evident that there was no plan in advance to decompose and treat the waste in an environment friendly manner.

The tent city officials evaded questions on the disposal of waste. Nikhil Aggrawal, a senior site manager, denied that waste was being disposed off into the river. However, the drivers of the septic tank vehicles admitted that they were told to empty the tanks, full of human excreta, into the Dhanauti river.

"Sir, We are continuously ferrying since Wednesday. Few local residents also objected as fetor coming out of it is unbearable. But what can we do? we are doing our duty", Sumit, one of the drivers told News18. Roushan Paswan , who was at the driving seat of the tanker just behind Sumit, echoed the same.

The place near Bariarpur Chawk, where the waste is being flushed into the river, is considered the entry gate of Motihari and the residents are visibly angry over the filthy scene.

Ashok Kumar Mishra, who lives adjacent to the Chawk, says, " we fear for our health. The way the municipality is dealing with the problem is an eye wash and a glaring example of their inefficiency. Our lives have become hell. We can't even breathe easily."

A group of residents submitted a petition to the district magistrate Raman Kumar on Friday who, after viewing the video clips assured them of immediate action, .

Talking to News18, Raman Kumar said, "I will discuss the matter with the Municipal officials and people's representatives of the local body and find out if there was any mismanagement."

However, the people of Champaran have a common feeling as a grocery shop owner Ajeet Kumar said, "please don't organise such programmes in future using the name of Champaran."

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| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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