Berhampur: The Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BeMC) areas have become Open Defecation Free (ODF). The corporation, one of the oldest civic bodies in the state, was declared ODF by Ganjam Collector Vijay Amruta Kulange at a function held here on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti on Tuesday with a call to make the town plastic free. In order to maintain the status of ODF, all are needed to have access to toilets, the collector said. At the same time he appealed to the people to shun plastic and use cotton bags to keep the environment clean.
“The results of plastic-free and ODF will be known after one and two years, when we make the city pollution free,” Asian Games silver medalist Dutee Chand, who was present in the function and participated in a mini-marathon, said while addressing the meeting. “We have made the silk city ODF. Now our endeavor is to make the city plastic-free,” said BeMC Commissioner Chakravarti Singh Rathore. Berhamapur has about one lakh households. He said latrines had been built in 1,023 households, while toilet facilities were provided to an equal number of houses when the corporation had provided houses under the Prime Minister Awaas Yojana (PMAY).
Around 461 households under Rajiv Awaas Yojana (461) had also benefited from this. Similarly, the Sulabha International has constructed 13 toilet complexes with 109 seats that have benefited 763families. The BeMC has constructed 15 community toilets with105 seats which will benefit 735 households. The civic body has also repaired and renovated 28 toilet complexes with 282seats in different parts of the town to cater to 1,974 households, the commissioner said.
The corporation has constructed 129 mini-community toilet complexes in various locations, mainly near slums, to solve the problem of space constraint. These comprise 314 seats and cater to 1,256 families, Commissioner Rathore said. This apart, construction of three other mini-hybrid toilets of 32 seats will be completed by October 15. Their construction has been undertaken by the corporation in collaboration with women self-help groups (SHG) and these will serve over 250 households. BeMC is also constructing three more toilet complexes, keeping in view the growth of population in the next two years. These will be completed by October 15 next year, he added.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.