Right to sanitation now a distinct human right

Seetha Gopalakrishnan
Monday, December 28, 2015 - 12:13
Right to sanitation recognised as a distinct human right by the United Nations
In a landmark resolution hailed by millions across the globe, the United Nations General Assembly has recognized the right to sanitation as a distinct human right alongside the right to safe drinking water. Nearly 2.5 billion people across the globe lack access to sustainable sanitation with nearly a billion defecating out in the open. The Millennium Development Goal of providing improved sanitation to the urban-folk was one of the widely missed targets in the UN’s fifteen year development plan. 
 
State-run hospitals discharge bio-medical waste directly into Hyderabad's drainage system
It has been found that state-run hospitals and labs have been continuously discharge potentially hazardous untreated bio-medical waste directly into Hyderabad's drainage system. According to the Pollution Control Board’s rough estimates, 10 to 15 lakh litres of sewerage and nearly 5 lakh litres of bio-chemical waste are being let out by the city’s major government hospitals every year and none of the top State-run tertiary hospitals have a Sewage Treatment Plants to treat effluents coming out of their premises. 
 
Karnataka Pollution Control Board offers Rs. 100 crore for cleaning Bengaluru's Bellandur Lake
The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has set aside Rs. 100 crore to construct three Sewage Treatment Plants near Bengaluru’s infamous Bellandur Lake in a bid to reduce the recurring foaming. The plan to construct three more STPs in Bellandur’s vicinity was first mooted by the Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board but fell short of implementing it due to lack of funds. The project will now be taken up in a phased manner, essentially keeping in mind the overall health of the 800-acre lake.
 
Bombay High Court wants comprehensive plan for the construction of public toilets for women
The Bombay High Court has directed all Municipal Corporations in Maharashtra to devise comprehensive plans for the construction of public toilets for women and submit the first compliance report by March 8, 2016. The Corporations are expected to constitute a five-member committee headed by the commissioner to ensure that ample toilets are constructed for women. Depending upon local conditions, Corporations are allowed to enter into Public-Private-Partnership to construct and maintain conventional as well as e-toilets for the area.
 
Corporate CSR initiatives focus mainly on sanitation and healthcare in 2014-15
Around 1,181 companies listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange have gone ahead and spent a whopping Rs.1,719 crore on health and sanitation projects as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility commitments. This accounts to about 27% of the total amount spent by these companies on CSR initiatives with the overall spending running across sectors comes up to Rs.6,400 crore. 
 
This is a roundup of sanitation related news published between December 20 and 26, 2015
 

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