By Pooja Solanki:
The home of all scams, Uttar Pradesh, has witnessed another swindle. And this is something really to cringe – the Toilet scam! The Centre sponsored Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC), under which the state was supposed to build toilets in rural households but in a startling revelation, 1.16 crore toilets in UP are found to be ‘missing’. The household census data revealed that only 55 lakh rural houses have toilets as opposed to the data provided by the State Panchayati Raj department to the Ministry of Rural Development, which stated that 1.71 crore toilets have been constructed under the scheme in the past decade.
Launched in 1999, to end open defecation in India by 2017, the TSC became operational in UP in the year 2002. As per the programme, a nominal subsidy of Rs. 600 was granted to every family to build permanent toilets in their houses. However, the TSC reports are contradictory to what the census data reveals. According to the TSC reports, 82.5% of the households had toilet facilities. But Census reports state that only 22% of houses in rural UP are equipped with toilets. The TSC also claimed that the districts of Lakhimpur, Kheri and Farrukhabad have 100% households with toilets. But a shocking report from the census exposed 81.7% and 76.10% households without the amenities.
It won’t be wrong to say that public money has always been drained and flushed away in the ‘toilet’. The scam is one of its kinds. It is a major setback for the common people who need to walk to their fields in order to defecate. The worst happens to women who are often victims of eve-teasing when they go out for nature’s call. If someone is having loose motions, the condition needs no explanation!
In a densely populated state like Uttar Pradesh, scams are widely evident, ranging from NRHM to land. This shows the government’s failure to tackle the ‘corrupt’Â environment brewing in the state. The Mayawati government has seen many scandals, disappointing the public and leading to her removal from the Chief Minister post after the 2012 Legislative Assembly elections. Now it all lies in the hands of the current CM, Akhilesh Yadav, to better the conditions and create a ‘corruption-free Uttar Pradesh’, which is yet another ‘next to impossible job’.