NIRGOSH GAUDE | NT
PONDA: Flying in the face of tall claims of the state government on open defecation, a survey has revealed that more than 9,000 houses in Ponda taluka do not have toilets.
The information obtained from the District Rural Development Agency under the Right to information Act indicated that though the state government had set a deadline to liberate Goa from open defecation by the end of this year, little efforts have been made by the authorities to set up toilets in the rural households of the taluka so as to fulfil the ODF dream.
The directorate of panchayat in collaboration with the DRDA recently surveyed some 37559 households from all the 19 village panchayats in the taluka under the Swachh Bharat Mission.
The survey has revealed that out of 37559 households, 27108 residences (72 per cent) have toilets. But 9162 houses do not have toilets.
The survey did not get details on toilets from 1289 (3 per cent) households as the houses were found locked and no family members were there to answer questionnaires of the survey.
The 19 village panchayats in Ponda include Bandora, Bethoda, Betqui-Khandola, Bhoma-Adcolna, Borim, Kundaim, Curti- Khandepar, Durbhat, Panchawadi, Quela, Querim, Shiroda, Tivrem, Usgao-Ganjem, Veling-Priol, Verem-Vaghurme, Volvoi, Wadi-Talaulim and Marcaim.
Of the 19 village panchayats, Shiroda has highest number of houses (1260) which do not have toilets. On the other hand, the Wadi-Talaulim village panchayat has lowest number of households (103) without toilets.
It is pertinent to note here that Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had announced in the state legislative assembly in July this year that the government would set up around 60,000 bio-toilets across the state under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan so as to make state open defecation free.
But official sources said the 60,000 toilets would not help the state achieve the ODF dream, as actual requirement of toilets is much more than the number announced by Parrikar.
“The state will take more time to get the ODF status,” a senior official said on the condition of anonymity.
It must be noted here that the DRDA survey has not covered all the households of the taluka, throwing up incomplete date on the toilet status.
Some 42259 houses are registered with the all 19 panchayats. However, the DRDA survey covered 37559 houses. And to cap it all, information could not be gathered from the 1289 locked houses.