SBM toilets

JIRIBAM| Sep 2: Toilets constructed under the Swachh Bharat Mission(SBM) with a budget of Rs 12,000 for each toilet at Jakuradhor GP and Borobekra GP located at Barak Circle, were found to be walled by bamboo strips and tin pieces.

This was revealed when a team of media personnel visited the toilets constructed at the GPs which lie about 45 km away from the centre of Jiribam district. The shoddy construction of the toilets by a few individuals with vested individuals has tarnished the image of the CM, Biren and his government which has initiated the scheme to construct a toilet for every household in the State.

Meanwhile, the inferior and low quality construction of the toilets which was built under the guidelines of SBM by Public Health Engineering Department(PHED) with funds directed from the State government has led the locals of Jakuradhor G.P andBorobekra G.P facing severe inconveniences. And in regard to the issue, the locals of the GPs have appealed the CM to investigate the matter.

Pradhan of Jakuradhor along with ward members of the GP also convened a special meeting in regard to the issue. “We are not aware under whose orders or funding, the toilets were constructed and no information was conveyed to us. Even when we enquired, the authorities did not give us any proper reply,” they said while adding that not even a single piece of information was provided by the contractors whether the construction of toilets under SBM has been completed even to the Water and Sanitation Committee formed in this regard.

Later, media personnel caught up with a contractor named Y. Premchandra alias Thoibi who claimed that he was not the single contractor involved in the constructions while adding, “There were about 6 contractors including U. Filipino Singh and Somorjit fromKalinagar along with Bonith and another who was publicly known asRomi.”  He further stated that during the first phase, construction of 133 toilets have been completed; while for the second phase, construction of 200 toilets have been completed out of the recommended total 270, and 70 toilets are still under construction.

Upon hearing the statements, the ward members began to shout in agitation that the words of the contractors were all lies. After which, member of Jakuradhor, Ward no I, L.Rajen Singh took the media personnel for an investigation of the toilets of one Th. Maniko Singh and L. Gurumohan Singh. However, the toilets were found to be in such deplorable conditions with bamboo strips being used as walls. The household owners said that the toilets were constructed around 2015 and 2016 adding that they had dug the pits themselves after they were left with some components. “However, the components provided were not enough to construct the walls of the toilet,” they added.

Pradhan of Borobekra GP, Lalzading Hmar said that under orders from higher authorities to form a Water and Sanitation Committee in regard to the construction of the toilets under SBM. “Along with the formation of the committee, we also opened a bank account,” he continued while adding that all those actions have remained useless till date. While stating that he had no knowledge about the toilet constructions, Lalzading Hmar also admitted that he had signed a paper acknowledging that thetoilet constructions have been completed following a request from a member of Ward no- III.

Further investigations at BorobekraGP gi Ward no –VI revealed that not a single toilet was constructed.  Lalzading Hmar said that people of the GPs are fed up of the actions of the contractors although signboards displaying the statement “Open Defecation Free Village” can be found in both the two GPs. He further made an appeal to the State government to investigate the matter at the earliest.

It may be recalled that there has been reports that repairment funds of Rs 6000 each for the supposedly constructed toilets have also been announced.

~IFP

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