Baramulla, June 3: The community toilets constructed under Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) in different parts of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district are defunct; though Government of India provided huge funds for such toilets in Jammu and Kashmir.
Community Toilets (CT) comprise of toilet, washroom and restroom and for the construction of each Community Toilet, Rs 14 lakhs were allocated.
Sources told news agency KNT that Community Toilets constructed in main Baramulla, Pattan, Kunzar, Tangmarg are defunct. “These toilets were never thrown open for public. At Tehsil Office Pattan, Higher Secondary School Pattan, Bagh-e-Islam Baramulla you can yourself see, all these toilets are closed,” said a respectable citizen.
For the construction of these toilets, Government of India availed the services of some NGO’s, asked them to construct these toilets wherever is feasible. Urban Local Bodies released funds to these NGO’s only after they completed the construction process and got a nod from the department. The irony is that money was released in favour of NGO,s even though these toilets are still not functional.
Locals question the conviction of the Department of Urban Local Bodies saying that why the Department issued ‘OK’ certificate in favour of these NGO’s and released money when it knew the toilets are still closed for public.
Ironically, Director Urban Local Bodies inaugurated one of such toilets at Bagh-e-Islam Baramulla and that one was never thrown open for public. Same is the case with toilets at Trauma Hospital Pattan and Old Hospital Pattan.
Swachh Bharat Mission was a massive mass movement that sought to create a ‘Clean India’. Indian government launched this Mission on October 2, 2014.The mission was aimed to cover all rural and urban areas. The urban component of the mission was to be implemented by the Ministry of Urban Development, and the rural component by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
Locals alleged that money was swindled by NGO’s in connivance with some Urban Local Bodies officials.
Director Urban Local Bodies, Reyaz Ahmed Wani told KNT that he will call and check which NGO has shun the responsibility for not maintaining these toilets. “I will fix the responsibility and ensure access to these toilets for common people,” he added.