Over 5,000 Gujarat schools without toilets: CAG

RSTV Bureau

gujarat_schoolA report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, tabled before the Gujarat Assembly on Tuesday , notes that more than 5,000 Anganwadi centers in the state did not have toilets as of the last year.

The BJP government tabled the audit report on local bodies for the year ended on Tuesday, March 2013, the last day of the legislature’s session.

The performance audit of ‘total sanitation campaign’ was conducted for the period 2008-2013, it said.

The campaign, launched by the Centre in 1999, was renamed as Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan in 2012. The CAG report noted several deficiencies in its implementation in rural parts of Gujarat.

The scheme provides for construction of toilets at Anganwadis (government-run nursery or primary schools). As per the target set by the Gujarat government, 22,505 Anganwadi toilets (ATs) were to be constructed by March 2009. It was later revised to 30,516 in April 2012.

“Against the overall target of 30,516 ATs, the achievement was 25,422 (83 per cent) as of March 2013. The position in Jamnagar was low and achievement was only 47 per cent. Resultantly, children of Anganwadis continued to be deprived of a basic amenity,” said the CAG report.

Incidentally, on Monday the Gujarat Assembly passed a Bill making having a toilet at home a pre-requisite for contesting the local body polls.

“The scheme guidelines of 2007 provide that toilets should be constructed in all government schools by March 2008… As against the target of 28,617 toilet units, only 20,390 units (71 pc) were completed as of March 2008 by Sarv Siksha Abhiyan Mission,” said the report.

In March 2012, a Central committee set a revised target of 40,439 toilets to be constructed in schools across the state. However, that target too was not achieved, CAG said.

“As against the target of 40,439 toilets for the entire state, only 36,438 were completed as of March 2013 at an expenditure of Rs 90.84 crore,” said the report.

CAG also pointed out that wasteful expenditure of Rs 2.80 crore was found during the inspection of toilets constructed by 37 village panchayats in five districts for the below-poverty-line families.

“The toilets were either not put to use, or (used) for a short period due to inferior quality,” it said.