Utpal Borpujari

November 12, 2008

Loo Factor: Chapra Lands Lalu in Worst Rank

By Utpal Borpujari

The Total Sanitation Programme (TSP) of the Centre aims at giving every household of the country access to a toilet by 2012, but the reality is that constituency or home districts of even key politicians like Dr Manmohan Singh, L K Advani and Lalu Prasad are off the target by between 18 and 46 years.

In fact, the names of the top politicians whose constituency districts are on course to meet the deadline can be counted on one’s fingertips, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, and Union ministers Sharad Pawar and A K Antony being among them.

The worst off in this regard, according to an assessment of the government’s TSP data by UK-based NGO WaterAid’s India office, is Railway Minister and RJD leader Lalu Prasad, whose Chapra constituency will meet the target only by the year 2058 if it continues with the current toilet construction rate of 1.55 per cent, as against the required 23.28 per cent.

The next worst performer is the Prime Minister’s political home district Kamrup in Assam, which if it persists with its miniscule 1.12 per cent growth rate, will be able to meet the target only in 2043. Advani’s Gandhinagar constituency, with its current 2.62 per cent growth, will reach the target in 2029.

WaterAid India assessed 27 key constituencies or districts (in case of Rajya Sabha MPs), of which only 11 could meet the target of total sanitation by 2012. 

Sonia Gandhi’s constituency Raibareily and Pawar’s Baramati will make it to the target in 2011, while Anthony’s home district Thiruvananthapuram will do it the soonest in 2008.

The assessment has used the government’s own data on TSP, regularly updated in the website of the Department of Drinking Water Supply of the Rural Development Ministry, WaterAid India officials said.

The other prominent constituencies assessed were Jangipur in West Bengal (Pranab Mukherjee, target achievement by 2013), Sidhi district in Madhya Pradesh (Arjun Singh, 2022), Latur in Maharashtra (Shivraj Patil, 2019), Hajipur in Bihar (Ramvilas Paswan, 2012), Kulaba in Maharashtra (A R Antulay, 2010), Sivaganga in Tamil Nadu (P Chidambaram, 2012) and Chhindwara in MP (Kamal Nath, 2019).

 (An abridged version was published in Sakaal Times, www.sakaaltimes.com / http://epaper.sakaaltimes.com, 09-11-08)

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