Jammu and Kashmir among the three worst in sanitation; 96% of Swachh Bharat share unspent

Sanitation in Jammu and Kashmir is among the worst in India with over 58 percent of more than 1.2 million households that lack toilets and the 2014-15 target for household latrines is short by 86%, as per the government data.

J&K is third in the list after Odissa and Bihar according to the Baseline Survey 2012 of the Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. Jammu and Kashmir with 12.5 million people in the state has not used about 96% of the money granted by Delhi for the sanitation program for 2014-15. The records state the only Rs 4.66 crore has been used out of Rs 121.52 crore. Rural Development Secretary said that the sanitation program is at preliminary stage in J&K and full measures are being taken to fulfill our objective and that shall be done soon.

According to the DISE Survey 2014-15, over 6000 schools lack toilets for girls and over 8000 lack toilets for boys, according to the data from the state’s Unified District Information System for Education. Over 71 percent of schools are without basins or taps to wash hands near toilets and urinals. A senior doctor at Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital said that the sanitation facilities in the state are very grim and the conditions are similar in villages as well as cities. “Hepatitis A and Diarrhea caused by rotavirus, is a common problem where sanitation facilities are poor, particularly among children,” he added.

The state has done very little to mitigate health threats from improper sanitary facilities for households and school children. The annual target of individual household latrines construction was 0.3 million but J&K has constructed only 42,239 which states a shortfall of 86%.

The government was to construct toilets in as many as 1264 schools last year but not more than 87 were paid attention to.

This is not the first time for J&K to have faltered in meeting the annual objectives of sanitation schemes.  J&K has also lagged in the implementation of the National Rural Drinking Water Program with Rs 310.15 crore unspent in the session 2014-15, which over 60% of the target unmet.

Image Courtesy- The Hindu