Sanitation not in the pink in Telangana, AP

As far as the number of open defecation-free (ODF) villages, mandals and districts in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh goes, the two States are low on the pan-India list for health and sanitation.

Only 25.83% of households in AP have toilets, while it is 25.8% in Telangana, according to the statistics of the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.

At the three-day Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Partners’ Conclave organised by Unicef for Telangana, AP, and Karnataka, Director of Swachh Bharat Mission for Telangana, M. Rama Mohan, said at least five districts would be ODF by March ’17.

Challenges in achieving the State Development Goals include community involvement and technical issues such as quality of construction of individual latrines, he said.

However, Telangana was fast drawing appreciation, given the pace at which the State Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s pet projects like Mission Bhagiratha were progressing. Likewise, Mission Kakatiya, that sought to revive water sources starting from minor irrigation tanks, was becoming a model, he added.

Director-General of AP Human Resource Development Institute, D. Chakrapani, said with every State going all-out towards realising Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream of Swachh Bharat, it was time to share the best practices, limitations and challenges, to overcome them. He cited the examples of bio-digestors developed by the Defence Research Development Organisation finding place on new railway coaches, apart from ‘EcoSan’ Waterless Zero-Waste toilets that about 60,000 school students used, around Tiruchirapalli.

Adoption of such eco-friendly models apart, there was an urgent need to sustain them by factoring in a maintenance system, he added.

Chairman of National Council of Rural Institutes, W.G. Prasanna Kumar, said from donor-driven goals, it was now community-driven which was a huge challenge. “Every university student should spend a week in a village and know the rural life,” he said.

Earlier, Chief of WASH, Unicef India, Nicolas Osbert presented an overview of its activities in the sector across India. They have 24 Unicef projects in the three States of Telangana, AP and Karnataka, he said, including those in the government and voluntary sectors, apart from smaller projects in schools.

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 10:23:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/Sanitation-not-in-the-pink-in-Telangana-AP/article17264982.ece

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