Villagers in Jamalpur in Muzaffarnagar will face legal action if caught defecating in the open. The district administration has appealed to the villagers to use the newly constructed toilets and not to defecate in open. He also warned them that legal action would be taken against those who relieve themselves in the open, Additional District Magistrate Sunil Kumar said.
The step came after some people of the village complained to the authorities that some locals are not using the toilets and relieve in open, he said.
Elimination of open defecation is one of the primary objectives of the Swachh Bharat Mission, launched in 2014. All houses are supposed to have toilets and all pit latrines – defecation into pits dug into the ground for reception of night soil directly without flushing – were to be converted to sanitary latrines.
Earlier in July, however, water and sanitation expert Gaurisankar Ghosh termed ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’ a “lost opportunity” and said it has been reduced to “a toilet counting programme” and has failed to become a people’s movement. Ghosh, the first mission director of National Drinking Water mission, suggested that to make Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) successful, linkage with major government programmes like Ganga Action Plan is important along with participation of people.
The Prime Minister’s effort is “sincere” but SBM has remained “just a government scheme”, he said addressing a FEJI and UNICEF organised WASH media workshop in Aurangabad adding that “SBM gives an impression that it is a total sanitation… But it is a toilet counting programme in a new birth.”
The Prime Minister had launched the Swachh Bharat Mission on 2nd October, 2014 to accelerate the efforts to achieve universal sanitation coverage.