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Kalyani - CLTS in an urban context

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Kalyani is a planned town near Kolkata with a population of 82,000. It is seen as a city ‘made for middle class people’. However, the 52 slums around the city house almost 50% of the city’s population. Many of the slums’ inhabitants are migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh etc. Whilst some of the slums are more recent, some are as old as 50 or 60 years, and the majority have no toilet facilities.

In the past, health and development programmes always counted the number of toilets and households, and it was the role of the councillors to decide who would get a toilet. Despite huge expenditures over many years, there was never total sanitation. Kolkata Urban Services for the Poor (KUSP) had previously provided toilets free of cost (worth US$ 220 a piece) to some of the slums. However, the toilets were often not used and other slums were also waiting to receive these handouts rather than taking their own initiative.

In 2006, the idea of CLTS was introduced to the councillors of Kalyani and they were persuaded to start a pilot project in 5 slums. The major objectives of this pilot was to study and learn the possibilities of introducing community led development initiatives with special reference to public health such as environmental sanitation, elimination of open defecation, solid waste disposal and other public health issues. The pilot was a success and now all 52 slums have been cleaned up. The challenge ahead is how to scale this up to other municipalities.

For more information on CLTS in Kalyani please contact Dr Kasturi Bakshi, Kalyani Municipality and Dr Shibani Goswami, State Urban Development Agency

See also the Kalyani 2006 workshop report by Dr Kamal Kar

Date: 7 June 2010