The purpose behind making this Case Study is to understand the changing dynamics of toilet situation in the households of slums in Navi Mumbai region. Also, there is an underlying objective to understand the Government’s policies/schemes for developing the household toilets and how developmental organisations and slum dwellers can get the benefits of the schemes. The slums in the cities are densely populated with not enough space, and therefore, the issues of sanitation and hygiene are very challenging which need/require a lot of time, energy and commitment to be resolved.
This case study is carried out in Hanuman Nagar area, Mahape, MIDC, Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation. This area was selected for the Case Study because people have inhabited this slum for a few decades. Availability of community toilets and getting toilets made under the IHHL scheme (Indian Household Latrine). This community has gone through different phases of sanitation issues and their solutions.
The Government of India launched the Swachh Bharat Mission on 2 October 2014. As a part of the mission, Community Toilet Project and Scheme were created to free the country from open defecation by creating community and household toilets. Under the IHHL scheme, the Central and State Government is giving ₹ 12,000/- to build household toilets to:
1. All households involved in open defecation
2. All households with insanitary latrines
3. All households with single-pit latrines
In addition to the ₹12,000/- , the Municipal Corporation of Navi Mumbai (NMMC) is also contributing ₹5000/- towards every IHHL. This scheme is being run in association with Govt. of Maharashtra and Govt. of India.
1. The families who don’t have toilets in their households or the families who have Unhygienic Latrines can get the grant through this scheme.
2. The IHHL which is to be built under the scheme must have water & drainage connection.
3. Any slum dweller who is protected by the government rules from time to time can build IHHL under the scheme.
4. The cost towards the connection of IHHL to the sewer line has to be borne by the applicant if the distance is not more than 30 meters.
5. If the sewer line is beyond 30 meters from the IHHL then applicant can use Septic Tank or Bio Digester.
6. After verification and approval by the ward authorities the amount will be transferred directly to the applicant’s bank account.
Navi Mumbai is one of the most well-structured and planned city of Maharashtra. Mahape, Hanuman Nagar is a suburb of Navi Mumbai. Around the year 2000, a lot of industries emerged in this part of the town which provided good employment opportunities to the residents of Hanuman Nagar and other nearby slums in Mahape. The approximate population of Hanuman Nagar area is around 2000. The people from Hanuman Nagar used to go in the open for defecation till the year 2006 till the community toilets were built. Construction of community toilets made the residents’ life very convenient. Around 2 years back, applications were invited from the residents of Hanuman Nagar under the IHHL scheme to build toilets in their homes.
The case study was carried out in the area of Hanuman Nagar, Mahape. We took the information from Mr. Ashok who has been a resident of this area since 1995. His father came to Mumbai in order to get livelihood. In his family, there are 8 members: his father, mother, wife and 4 children. All the four children are young. In the year 2007, he managed to buy their current house. He is now working as a four-wheeler driver on contract basis and earns an income of ₹12000 per month. His wife works as a vegetable seller in that area.
The toilet type is of pit latrine. The toilet has water outlet and 3 tanks. The size of the toilet is 5”x 4”. The toilet is attached to the bathroom in the house. The toilet is clean and well maintained. A vent pipe is installed with an opening of about half a meter above the rooftop to allow the gas to pass formed in the septic tank.
Mr. Ashok said that he came to know about the scheme of “Clean Navi Mumbai Mission” through the local kirana shop guy. The application forms for the IHHL were kept at the shop.
Since his family fulfilled the criteria and had all the required documents, they decided to apply for it. Required documents were: Aadhar Card, valid house tax-receipt, and bank account. Those who did/do not have tax receipt were/are not eligible for this scheme.
Mr. Ashok and other 39 families got the Approval Letter from NMNC authority in the first phase. They were given ₹8500/- per toilet unit as the first installment of the total funding to start the work. This funds were directly transferred to his Union Bank account. It took approximately two months from the day of submission of the Application Form to the receipt of the first installment. After the pits were dug up and the toilet construction work was half way, officials from the Municipal Corporation came to inspect the work in progress. The 2nd installment was disbursed by the Govt. after the completion of the toilet construction and a final visit by the officials.
Mr. Ashok said, The government gave us only ₹17,000. But this was not sufficient amount for construction of the toilet. We spent around 35,000/- rupees on it. So, it was difficult to arrange the money, but we thought that the toilet is very important for us as it will help us in saving time and maintain our sanitation and hygiene and our health.
People from Hanuman Nagar have been using the community toilets ever since they were built. Under the IHHL scheme, only a few families have constructed toilets in their homes in the last two years.
Mr. Ashok said, “We had to pay 60 rupees per month for each person in the family as membership in order to utilize the community toilet. We had to use community toilet at specific time to avoid rush. Many times we had to stand outside the community toilet for longer time due to the number of people using the toilets. Also, we had to face difficulties in case of emergency situation or any other stomach problems during the nights.”
With 5 female members in the family, the women feel that they get privacy and safety in using the toilet at home. For the use of community toilet, one male member had to always accompany the women in case the toilet use was required late at night. The household toilet also saves time for the family members.
The family is happy to have a toilet in own home. Since the community toilets are also well maintained in their slum, in terms of hygiene and health issues, the family felt that IHHL made very little difference. But the other difference are convenience, safety, emergency situation, taking good care of senior citizen, standard of living, saving time and money it is the most essential after a house.
Guidelines For Swachh Bharat Mission – Urban – Revised as on 1st August 2017
Facebook.com. (2017). Solid Waste Management, MCGM. [online] Available at: https://www.facebook.com/MCGMswm/posts/565920873568044 [Accessed 21 Aug. 2017].