The Dhubri district of Assam was declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) on June 4 last.
However, the district administration has not yet officially declared about the same.
Meanwhile, the rural residents of the district have questioned the claim, considering the fact that the tag is in contrast to the ground reality, with open defecation persisting in the district.
Throughout the district starting from Gauripur, Golakganj, Moterjhar, Modhusoulmari, Chapar and all other village areas of district-more people are still seen defecating in the open.
A number of villagers have alleged that the evaluation carried out by the concerned department was faulty.
They said that there is a scarcity of toilet sheets in their locality and people particularly women are still bound to go outside to attend to nature’s call.
Villagers have also demanded to conduct a high level inquiry into the Dhubri district administration’s tall claim of district achieving the ODF status.
The problem of open defecation does not prevail in one or two areas alone, but across the district.
One can see people defecating in the open in maximum villages of the district where merely 50 per cent toilets has been completed.
Arun Chandra Brahma, secretary of Geramai Goan Panchayat under Devitala Development Block of Dhubri district himself disclosed that till date, not a single toilet at Geramari GP under any government schemes has been constructed during the last five years.
According to the guidelines of Swachh Bharat Mission, a village or town can only be declared ODF if, at any point of the day, not a single person is found defecating in the open.
In addition, necessary infrastructure and regulatory conditions are to be achieved, which includes providing sanitation facilities within a distance of 500 metres to families engaging in open defecation.