Most slum dwellers in Hyderabad still opt for open defecation

As per Express findings, at several places in the city there are no toilets even in the radius of 2 Kms; more projects are in pipeline to make toilets available, says GHMC.

Published: 27th August 2017 08:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th August 2017 09:16 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: The GHMC may have declared all of its 150 wards to be open defecation free(ODF) on Independence Day this year, there are still people in certain pockets and several slums in the city who have no choice but to use open lands to relieve themselves.   Indira Nagar in Balanagar, which is home to more than 2,000 slum dwellers is an example. While the men defecate in the open, women look for pits and make use of them before sunrise and after sunset. A GHMC toilet is on the main road, but it is too far to access, said a woman from the slum. 

At another settlement in Kukatpally, on the National Highway 65, about a hundred settlers from Maharashtra survive on the roadside selling steel and iron utensils and besides roasting carcasses of goats and pigs. They earn around `160 for two pairs of limbs and a skull. Toilets for these families is the nearby dense trees. They too prefer to use the open lands, instead of travelling at least one km to reach the nearest public toilet. 

“Going to the bus stop on a need basis is not practical, especially when business is at stake. Moreover, they are pay and use toilets and spending about `30 on bathing, defecating and urinating every day by each member is not something we cannot afford,” said Geeta, one of the settlers. They make around `500 a day and `150 for each family members, where average family size is five, is an expensive affair, she added. Their bathing spaces are small enclosures that they constructed using plastic sheets. 

Though, the Swachh Bharat Mission guidelines state that every community needs to have a toilet within a distance of 500 metres, Express found that at several places in the city there are no toilets even in the radius of two kilometers. In Kukatpally for instance, two toilets are separated by three kilometers at least -- one at JNTUH and the other at Kukatpally bus stop. Sheikh Nayeem, convenor, Basthi Vikas Manch, said, “It is a joke that the city has been declared open defecation-free. The state of public toilets is pitiable.”
Solid Waste Management too is a far-fetched reality, stated, Hema Latha, regional manager(South India) Water Aid India. “In most of the slums in Hyderabad, household drains are connected to open nalas which also amounts to open defecation. Solid waste management is at stake,” she said. 

GHMC says, constructing toilets is a continuous process
There are 135 toilets through Build Operate Transfer Scheme, 109 fabricated toilets, 49 Sulabh complexes, and about 7000 Individual household latrine toilets built within the GHMC limits. “The project is a continuous process and just claiming to have ODF will not help us,” said K Koteshwara Rao, Superintendening Engineer, Solid Waste


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