Around 72 percent toilets built in government schools by seven Central Public Sector Enterprises did not have running water, while around 55 percent did not have any hand-washing facilities whatsoever, reveals a survey conducted by the Comptroller and Auditor General reveals, The Indian Express reported.
According to the survey, which was conducted in 2019, around 30 percent of toilets constructed by seven out of 53 Central Public Sector Enterprises, including NTPC, PGCIL, NHPC, PFC, REC, ONGC and CIL did not have soap or disinfectants, while around 30 percent were not in use.
Why Should You Care?
While the survey was conducted in 2019, it comes at a time when the government has allowed schools to reopen partially for Classes 9 to 12 from 21 September.
As schools are required to adopt a barrage of precautionary measures to reopen in the first place, the report sheds light on existing sanitation facilities in toilets built by the seven CPSEs.
In fact, an Oxfam India survey in five Indian states found that around 43 percent government school teachers “believe that wash facilities in their school are not adequate to promote safe, hygienic practices.”
In August 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had urged India’s corporate to help in building separate toilets for boys and girls in all schools by the end of 2015, as part of their corporate social responsibility programmes.
Following this, the Union Ministry of Education (formerly the Human Resource Development Ministry) had urged ministries into exploring whether Central Public Sector Enterprises under their jurisdiction could help set up toilets in government schools.
Out of 1,40,997 toilets constructed by CPSEs, around 1.3 lakh were constructed by NTPC, PGCIL, NHPC, PFC, REC, ONGC and CIL at the cost of Rs 2,162.6 crore. Focussed on these 1.3 lakh toilets, the audit surveyed 2,695 toilets across 15 states.
- Out of 2,612 toilets, 200 couldn’t be found & 86 were partially constructed.
- Out of 1,967 schools, 99 had no functional toilets & 463 had just one toilet
- 691 out of 2,326 constructed toilets not operational due to lack of running water, damages, lock-up.
- 14 percent of 1,119 toilets built by Coal India Limited were found unbuilt or partially constructed.
- 17 percent toilets built by NTPC non existent or partially constructed.
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