Odisha Village Without A Single Toilet Tagged ‘Open Defecation Free’

Sundargarh: Recently the residents of Kopasinga village under Sadar block of Sundargarh district were surprised to find a signage at the entrance of the village declaring it completely open defecation free, even though there are no toilets in the village.

For the villagers, it’s like rubbing salt on their already sore wounds as their demands for a toilet have fallen on deaf ears.

As per reports, The Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation or IDCO acquired land in three villages in the area namely Lankahada and Rupadihi including Kopasinga in 2012 for construction of an ultra mega power project in the area and since then no welfare projects are being implemented.

A ward member of Kopasinga, Gajadhar Kamar complained, “The government is cheating everybody. The village doesn’t have a single toilet and they aren’t building any because of the proposed power project. Now a signboard claiming the village to be open defecation free is laughable.”

Rambhabati Karali, a local of Kopasinga said, “Three villages including our own are facing this problem. The government should launch a probe to ascertain the number of beneficiaries in the area and construct toilets as soon as possible.”

Acknowledging the mistake, the Project Director of District Rural Development Agency, Bhairav Singh Patel said “We have instructions to delist all beneficiaries in the area because of IDCO’s land acquisition. The signboard mentioning the villages as open defecation free seems to be a mistake and we will remove that soon.”