Times of India
18 January 2012
By Swati Shinde Gole
91 Schools Lack Clean Drinking Water Tanks, Finds Another Petition
Seventy-seven schools run by the Pune Municipal Corporation do not have sanitation facilities in tune with the norms set by the Union ministry of rural development’s department of drinking water supply, a Right to Information Act (RTI) application by P M Shah Foundation has found.
Lack of proper sanitation facilities was one of the reasons girls dropped out of school.
The information was sought from the civic education board. The board replied that it runs about 247 schools and that only Rs 21 lakh from a budget of Rs 2crore allotted for 2010-11 to provide sanitation and toilet facilities in civic schools has been utilised.
The plea asked the civic board if they were following government norms of allotting one toilet for every 40 students in a school. In another query, it was also found that 91 schools do not clean drinking water tanks and repair works to fix leaking tanks are pending.
“We asked the civic body about efforts taken to provide clean drinking water to students. The board replied that there is no budget allotted for such a purpose. It was disappointing to see the condition of civic schools in the city despite funds being available,” director of P M Shah Foundation Chetan Gandhi said.
The education board received Rs 4.5 crore for purchase of school uniforms in 2008-09, he said. “However, due to a dispute in the purchase, the amount was kept in the custody of the high court. The civic body sought permission from the high court to use the amount for providing clean drinking water to students, which was granted. But, the reply to our query on how much has been spent on clean drinking water revealed that it has been unused for over a year now.”
Sangeeta Tiwari, who heads the education board, said, “It is the responsibility of the ward office to see to it that sanitation and drinking facilities are provided to schools running in their wards. Constructing new toilets in schools is not possible as the land is on lease and owners do not give permission for such development.” Tiwari also denied that there was any budget for drinking water and that the Rs two crore budget is only for cleanliness and sanitation purposes.
Norms by Union ministry of rural development
- Toilets in all types of government schools including primary, upper primary, secondary, higher secondary and anganwadis should be constructed
- Separate toilets for girls and boys should be constructed in case of co-educational schools
- One urinal space may be provided for every 20 to 40 boys or girls separately