Is It A Bus Or A Toilet?
- Raghav Goyal
- Published on 17 Feb 2023, 4:00 pm IST
- 3 minutes read
- Mobile toilets and ring toilets were constructed by the former DC of Narayanpet, Hari Chandana Dasari, during her stint in the district
- She got Roadways Buses converted into mobile toilets for women
- The first mobile SHE toilet came in Kosgi Municipality and the model was replicated in rest of the state
- Mobile SHE Toilet in Narayanpet
When Covid 19 pandemic hit India, Narayanpet district in Telangana didn’t have proper public sanitation facilities. The district was lagging behind in the construction of toilets. This is when the then District Collector of Narayanpet, Hari Chandana Dasari, devised a model of toilets which is now being replicated in the whole state.
The ‘Toilets on Wheel’ campaign, started by her, helped the district in getting an Open Defecation Free (ODF) status. Besides they also won an award for being the ‘Best Municipality’ in the country. Ms. Chandana was among the 19 winners of Excellence in Governance Awards 2020- 2021 announced by The Indian Express Group.
Speaking with Indian Masterminds, she said, “The district was lagging behind in the construction of household’s toilets and there were limited public toilets. Compared to other districts in Telangana we were quite low in the Swachh campaign. Toilets in govt hospitals and schools were also lacking. As the Telangana govt was aiming at 100% coverage for the district, we decided to take toilet construction on a mission mode.”
During the pandemic, availability of manpower and materials for toilet construction was scarce. Hence the district adopted various pre-fab or easy to construct methods to fulfill the agenda of access to safe sanitation for all.
Ms Dasari started with Kosgi Municipality where she got a mobile toilet started by converting an old RTC bus. Narayanpet district has lots of religious places which are used only for limited amounts of time by the locals. Rest of the time they are closed. Moreover, weekly fairs and cattle fairs are also conducted in the area.
IAS officer Hari Chandana said, “Permanent toilet construction in these areas would not be fully feasible as they have issues of usage and maintenance. Also having limited resources, we could only invest in a few mobile toilets. Hence, these old buses were converted into mobile toilets for women. Some of these buses are also converted into tea stalls which are operated by local SHG women.”
The mobile toilets were not the only way the administration was tackling the issue, but they also started ring toilets model at the hospitals. It takes around four days of construction time, using cement rings fixed on top of each other to form circular toilets. Each such toilet costs Rs 12k- 14k at that time, bringing down the cost and time of construction. It was a quick scalable model and is widely used in the district.
ODF PLUS STATUS
A parallel campaign was launched to mobilise people on safe sanitation and clean surroundings. people got involved in monitoring and maintaining these structures. As health became a priority and the district administration could link safe sanitation to this thus ensuring public participation. Within 3 months of implementing these various models the district was declared ODF+.
The mobile She toilet model was replicated in the whole state and was suggested as a best practice to be implemented by the urban development minister and other minister of Government of India. Now, more than 200 such bus-toilets are functioning in various places in Telangana.
END OF THE ARTICLE
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