One toilet every second: Modi government’s 100 day target

Union ministry issues orders to all states to meet target of constructing 5.2 million toilets by end of August

By Jitendra
Last Updated: Monday 17 August 2015

imageThe Ministry of Drinking water and Sanitation on Friday finalised its 100-day plan, under which it has decided to construct one toilet every second by the end of August this year.

Sarswati Prasad, joint secretary for sanitation, issued an order to each state, giving them their respective targets for the next two months.

The ministry has set the target of constructing 5.2 million toilets by August 31. The total target of 2014-15 is 12.5 million toilets

The new BJP-led government, which was sworn in on May 26 this year, had asked the ministry to prepare a 100-day plan. The 100th day ends on August 31.

This impractical target follows in the wake of the poor progress report of construction of toilets in April and May. According to Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA) website, zero number of toilets were constructed in April. The total number of toilets constructed in April and May put together comes to about 86,000. This means that a large number of toilets would have to be built in a short period to meet the targets.

The calculation by Down To Earth (see box), showing how unrealistic this target is, has not included the number of community sanitation complexes, school toilets, and aanganwadi toilets. It is only for individual household latrines (IHHL), in which case the target appears even more absurd.

In the order, the ministry has directed the states to take immediate steps to achieve their targets within the stipulated time and also ensure reporting of the progress on the online monitoring system of NBA on priority basis. 

Unrealistic target
Target for IHHLs till August 31st (100 days) 5,222,068
Toilets constructed (IHHL) till May 86,271
Remaining target to be achieved by August 31 5,135,797
Toilet would be constructed each day 82,835
Toilets to be constructed each hour 3,451
Toilets to be constructed every minute 58
Toilets to be constructed every second 1


Agenda for next 100 days in respect of NBA targets to States

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  • I don't think it is

    I don't think it is impossible. But it can be possible if the work is done simultaneously all over the villages with the community participation. We have more than 1 billion population. Loosely translates into 20 crore families. Then dividing these 52lac toilets into these 20 crore families, it comes out to be 40 families comprising of 200 people constructing a toilet in their neigborhood in around 50 days. Is that an impossible task? Even one person from each family participate, even then 40 people making a toilet in 50 days. Even half of them are not able to participate, then it comes out to be 20 people. Even half of them unable to do so due to old age or kids, then there are 10 people to make a toilet in 50 days.

    Your calculations are severely flawed.It is possible with even the most probable reasons of not happening it.

    Why people always forget the resource of human population, India has.If utilized properly, we can make a definite impact in world, as we are 1/6 of human population on earth.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • For sanitation, where will

    For sanitation, where will the water come from?
    More than 2 lakh villages dont have even secured source of Drinking water. Community wells dont yield water, due to ground water tables depletion.
    Govt needs to increase ground water recharge, to keep these toilets Functioning.
    Increase present recharging from 5% Naturally to 'Upto 80%' by harvesting rainwater Underground through Patented concept.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • Sounds good, but as you said

    Sounds good, but as you said unrealistic.

    If somehow BJP is able to make even half of target, they will be winners !!

    A good initiative taken by Indian government. India truly needs to sort out sanitation problems !!

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • I think dividing it by number

    I think dividing it by number of villages or workers will bring it down to some practical figure.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • We can always choose

    We can always choose alternate materials apart from normal brick concrete which save time. If the production of modular toilets are done in bulk and than executed probably than the target is possible.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • In its present form NBA is

    In its present form NBA is not able to deliver as envisaged. In theory, NBA acknowledges that stopping open defecation is largely a matter of behavioral change. THe IEC / BCC activities are been laid down... the "Community Led total sanitation" approach has also been mentioned....It talks about rural sanitary mart and revolving fund to villages....Convergence with MGNREGs is the latest of all...But when it comes to implementing the abhiyan as per the guidelines, our govt delivery mechanism fails..

    My 1.5 year experience of working with villagers in facilitating the behavioural change of preventing the open defecation and subsequently construction and usage of toilets in Kalanaur gram panchayat Jehanabad district of Bihar gives a strong conviction that fixing up physical target from delhi and pushing it through states to villages will seldom work..

    A sincere and micro level introspection is required on understanding the reasons for poor physical progress... reasons are multiple...

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • They can try some alternate

    They can try some alternate solution to it trying precast septic tanks and install it as par the infrastructure india can copy the China models than West. China constrution methodologies and practices and standards more inline with india give a opperunity for Chinease companies to invest in infrastructure and copy and improve the local standards. More important is availablity of water

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • If two lakh villages face

    If two lakh villages face water scarcity problem then rest of 4.4 lkah villages should have toilets. Water matters but its all about cultural barrier or cultural convenience to defecate in open. I am fully agree with you that governmnet should initiate side by side water recharging or harvesting program to achieve total sanitation. But here this unrealistic or can say absurd target is matter of discussion. We don't have such capacity at grassroot level to construct toilets instead on paper only.

    Jiten Das

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • The risk with setting such

    The risk with setting such targets is that they are just that.

    The functionality and sustainability of the toilet and the willingness of the people to use them are the two most important criteria that will make these targets meaningful. I completely agree with one of the comments that talks about the challenge of water availability in the far flung villages to keep the toilet clean and running. In this case the government will have to be a little more creative and think of water free toilets, bio toilets etc. In one of the villages, people complained that an organization made a few toilets for them which are basically just brick walls, a couple of feet in height, and nothing else. Villagers are uncomfortable in closed spaces, so that too needs to be taken into consideration. More often than not, these 'toilets' become store rooms for food or fodder, mostly the latter. Then there is the issue of training - training not just how to use the toilet but also why should the toilet be used. Women are shy to talk about their problems - they have restricted their loo schedules (before sunrise and after sunset) and braved men, snakes and insects for years. They need to be spoken with and encouraged to voice their concerns and demand for toilets at home. Men on the other hand don't really think this is a problem in open defecation - either on the health front or the safety front. So there is a need to change the mindset of the men and of families to allow loos in the house and not something far away that once again becomes inaccessible for women.

    Without these few sociological considerations the government will only be ticking boxes without making any impact.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply