The Comptroller and Auditor General of India on Wednesday said that 40% of the toilets in government schools across the country were found to be non-existent, partially constructed or unused, The Hindu reported. The auditor provided the information in a report presented in Parliament.
The audit report surveyed 2,695 toilets built by 53 central public sector enterprises in 2,048 schools across 15 states. The enterprises had claimed to have built 1.4 lakh toilets as part of the Right to Education project.
The CAG’s report found that out of the sample size, the enterprises identified but did not build 83 toilets. Two hundred toilets were said to be constructed but were found to be non-existent. The report also found that 691 toilets were not in use due to lack of water and sanitation facilities while 86 were only built partially.
The survey also found that at least 75% of the toilets were not being cleaned properly. The report also said that 72% of the constructed toilets had no running water, while 55% had no facilities for washing hands, which is especially concerning amid the coronavirus crisis.
“During the survey, audit noticed that proper maintenance or sanitation was not available in 1,812 out of 2,326 toilets,” the CAG said in its report, according to PTI. “715 out of 1,812 toilets were not being cleaned. 1,097 toilets were being cleaned twice in a week to once in a month, whereas the norm was for daily cleaning at least once.”
The report added: “Thus, 75 percent of selected toilets were not maintained hygienically. Cases of non-provision of soap, bucket, cleaning agents and disinfectants in toilets and inadequate cleanliness of pathways were also noticed.”
The CAG also flagged the lack of separate toilets for girls and boys in co-educational schools. “Out of 1,967 coeducational schools surveyed by Audit, 99 schools had no functional toilets while 436 schools had only one functional toilet,” it said. “The objective of providing separate toilets for boys and girls was not fulfilled in these 535 schools [27 percent of 1,967 schools].”
In 2014, the Ministry of Human Resource Development had launched the Swachh Vidyalaya Abhiyan to build separate toilets for boys and girls in schools, as mandated by the Right to Education Act. The government brought 53 enterprises on board to complete the exercise, including the National Thermal Power Corporation, the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and Coal India Limited.