RAJBIRAJ, Dec 12: Rajbiraj has earned the reputation of a city with well-managed settlements. However, despite numerous efforts of the municipality as well as various governmental and non-governmental organizations, the district headquarters of Saptari is yet to be declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) zone.
Even after pouring millions of rupees, the municipality has failed to meet its target of making the city an ODF zone. The concerned authorities cite lack of people's representatives, sufficient workers and various other problems for the failure. According to Shambhu Yadav, mayor of Rajbiraj Municipality, newly elected representatives have already joined the campaign of declaring the city ODF zone.
With the merger of several VDCs into rural municipalities after the local level restructuring, it has been more challenging for the people's representatives to make Rajbiraj an ODF zone. Organizations have already started their campaign to make the whole of Saptari district free from defecation within 2017. The local government has entrusted different bodies with the responsibility of making wards free from defecation within the given deadline.
However, wards 9, 11 and 15 of Rajbiraj have already been declared ODF zones. While this campaign has already been expedited in rural areas, some stakeholders have expressed their disappointment at the sluggish work in the district headquarters. As a part of this campaign, all locals have been urged to make toilets at their homes. Some responsible authorities are even taking initiatives to build public toilets. "We have to go through great ordeal in lack of public toilets," laments Pankaj Bhagat, a local.