Open defecation-free Bhovi Colony still a mirage

The houses in Bhovi Colony do not have toilets and residents are forced to defecate inthe open.

Though the country was declared free from open defecation recently, the Bhovi Colony in Gubbiga Gram Panchayat in N R Pura taluk tells a different story. 

Over 25 houses in the colony do not have toilet facilities and people have been attending to nature’s call in the open.

A majority of these families are residing in huts and do not have title deeds for the land they are living in. 

As a result, the families could not avail funds from Swachha Bharat Mission to construct toilets.

Under Swachha Bharat Mission, financial assistance of Rs 15,000 for SC families and Rs 10,000 for BPL families is given for the construction of toilets. Owing to lack of land records, the colony residents could not avail the benefit. 

The colony residents have been depending on plantations belonging to the Forest Department and the banks of a lake to empty their bowels and often engage in altercations with the locals over cleanliness.

“Owing to open defecation, the entire area has turned unhygienic,” alleged local residents. 

Colony resident Gangamma said, “We have been residing in the huts for the last several years and do not have toilet facilities. No one is listening to our woes. It would be beneficial if somebody constructs toilets for us.” 

Residents Yogish and Sanjeevappa said, “The gram panchayat collects water bill from us but does not collect house tax. Children have to run to the forest to attend nature’s call. It is dangerous to go inside the forest after sunset.” 

Taluk Panchayat EO Nayana said, “Owing to the row over land, toilets could not be constructed at Bhovi Colony. The gram panchayat has initiated the work on community toilets and the work will be completed within 15 to 20 days.” 

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