- A large section of Indian population lives in villages and is mainly engaged in agriculture. They belong to weaker section of the society.
- There is a definite trend of rural population migrating to the urban areas due to lack of employment opportunities, low earnings, insufficient means of transport and insanitary living conditions.
- The latter is mainly responsible to repel the educated youth from working in rural areas. One source of insanitary condition in rural areas is the drainage of waste water from bathing and cooking areas of dwellings over the kutcha roads and lanes having inadequate slopes.
- The situation is further aggravated due to the movements of carts and animals which result in the creation of pot holes and ditches that gets filled up with dirty stagnant water.
- The mosquitoes and flies find good breeding centres in these places and spread diseases. Some of the village roads are brick paved with drains for waste water disposal. But these have not served the required purpose due to improper slopes, insufficient maintenance and unpredictable flow of water. Rural dwellings having their own source of water supply like hand pumps discharge more water on the streets.
- Furthermore, the agricultural waste and domestic refuse collect in drains obstructing the flow of water and ultimately, all these things appear on the streets.
- Some of the village panchayats have suggested individual pits for collection of waste water and its disposal by intermittent sprinkling on large areas, either in the courtyard or on the streets.
- The villagers adopt this practice for some time, but their enthusiasm dies with time. A few progressive farmers have access to the technical know-how and capacity to invest finance to make large sized soakage pits filled with brickbats (to dispose off water underground). These are frequently choked with ash and soil used by the villagers to clean their utensils. This requires cleaning of the pit and involves considerable expenditure. The high cost of construction and costly maintenance make it beyond the reach of the poor.
- A detailed study of the problem, including the living habits of rural population, was conducted by the Central Building Research Institute, Roorkee.
- The urban type of underground drainage system was not found suitable because of the settlement of silt and ash in drains; insufficient quantity of water for self-cleaning of the drains; high maintenance and running cost.
- The lack of interest in the maintenance of community services leads one to conclude that the proposed system should be such that it should make the individuals responsible to run their own waste water disposal system. At the same time, the system should be within the economic reach of a villager who can maintain it without outside help.
Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin)
- Safe sanitation is an essential requirement for the well-being of every society. Though India has come a long way in improving its sanitation coverage status, it is still well short of desired levels.
- In the rural context, Safe Sanitation comprises of the following components
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