Close this search box.

The Smart City of Goa Lacks Basic Toilet Facilities Even After One Year of Being Declared Open Defecation Free

Estimated Reading Time
Open Defecation Free Smart City
Share Button

Panaji was declared open defecation-free (ODF) in August last year, although, the ground reality was, and continues to be different. Now, after a year, the construction of individual toilets has begun in the capital city of the state. 

As of now, the building of toilets has begun inward Aivao, one that reportedly has the highest requirement of toilets. The area needs 46 toilets to be constructed, mayor of the city, Uday Madkaikar said. This toilet construction work is being undertaken by Sulabh International.

The setting up of toilets was a long promise after the city was declared ODF. Now, individual toilets are being constructed for each family, and according to the mayor, 15 of them will be ready by next week. After this, the construction of toilets in other parts of the city, such as Ribandar, St. Inez, and Mala areas is expected to be initiated. 

Despite claiming to be open defecation-free, the city on the ground showed a different picture. A shortfall of nearly 300 toilets is there in the city, and over the months, it has missed many set deadlines to finish these constructions. 

These toilets being constructed, are single-seater, pour-flush latrines, and are expected to be done at a cost of Rs 1.6 crore.

Last year, after declaring itself ODF in August, toilets were promised by Diwali last year. “Panaji is not ODF,” the mayor had said last year, citing various examples of people openly defecating in areas across the city. 

A trend noticed in the state is a declaration that the state achieved a certain goal, and later on, work for the same is implemented. The same was also witnessed earlier this month. Goa was declared to be the first state in the country to make piped water connections available to every rural house, however, a series of ground reports pointed out that this was a large false claim. 

In fact, at the most, only about 85% of rural Goa has piped water and not 100% as claimed by the government. In a report, it was even pointed out that in parts of the PWD minister’s constituency itself, people do not get continuous piped water, and have to still rely on water tankers for their daily supply. 

In the context of ODF, several panchayats and local bodies had undertaken steps to provide toilets in homes, however, it wasn’t the case followed everywhere in the state. 

Furthermore, the Chief Minister, during the commencement of the vigilance week itself, had pointed out that the claim of ODF was not fulfilled everywhere on the ground, and the implementation of the scheme was stalled in many parts of the state. 

“We put on papers, announce schemes, declared Goa ODF. No doubt Goa is ODF because we put one community toilet, and hence could declare Goa ODF. But, to date we have not put a toilet in their house,” the CM said, giving an example from his village wherein seven houses – from which three belonged to families from the SC/ST community – still have no toilets in their houses. The CM has given a rap to the bureaucracy for failing to implement multiple schemes provided by the government, one including the ODF claims. 

Currently, Panaji city hopes to have all the necessary toilets constructed by December, after several delays attributed to various bureaucratic and work-related issues. 

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Also Read