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| Last Updated:20/11/2014

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Ecological sanitation drive on in Puducherry

The Hindu, 19 November 2014

 

With the announcement of the Swachh Bharat campaign, government agencies across the country have been on a drive to end open defecation and build toilets. However, S. Paramasivan, who heads the India office of NGO Wherever the Need in Puducherry, cautions the overdrive in building flush toilets. Having worked in the sanitation field for more than 25 years, he says he has observed instances of groundwater contamination in Cuddalore area where toilets were built as part of the earlier Total Sanitation Campaign. The water samples that were tested showed E-coli contamination, a sign of leachate infiltration, he says. “Are we doing good for the community or increasing the chance of an epidemic,” he asks.

 

His organisation has now taken up promoting ecological sanitation through EcoSan toilets. The EcoSan toilets are pre-fabricated and can be made of different materials such as fibre glass, aluminium, tin powder and iron. They can be permanent or portable structures and a steel frame unit can weigh around 70 kg. A permanent EcoSan toilet unit costs around Rs. 26,500, says Mr. Paramasivan. As the conventional flush toilet unit costs around Rs. 15,000, governments have not been too keen to take up EcoSan toilets, he says. Read more....