- Sanitation is a major governance issue in Delhi
- The SDMC made public its resolution declaring its 92 of the 104 wards
- All schools have certified that students enrolled have access to toilets
New Delhi: Mayor Kamaljeet Sehrawat on May 24 directed the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) to make the civic area open defecation-free (ODF) by June 30, even as the SDMC claimed that 92 of its wards have achieved that goal. Ms Sehrawat, who represents Dwarka-B ward, was elected unopposed to the post on May 19, and that day had said that sanitation would be her “first priority”.
“The SDMC has been able to provide to all households in 92 wards, access to either a single toilet or community toilets within 500 metres of their settlement, and has also ensured that all commercial areas in the wards have access to public toilets within a distance of 1 kilometre.
Further all schools have certified that students enrolled there have access to toilets and are routinely using the facilities at schools and at homes, the civic body said.
In a statement, the BJP-led municipal body, claimed that it had “fulfilled all prescribed parameters needed for declaration of a ward as open defecation free by a specific urban local body under the Swachh Bharat Mission.”
The SDMC made public its preliminary resolution declaring its 92 of the 104 wards as ODF.
The corporation is all set to issue a public notice to invite feedback, suggestions, comments and objections from the residents of these 92 wards within 15 days of publication of the notice.
In case, no objection is lodged in response to the public notice, the SDMC will announce its final resolution for further transmission to the state government, which will certify the claim of the corporation through an appropriate third-party verification process before finally according the status of ODF to the (areas falling under) the SDMC, Municipal Commissioner Puneet Kumar Goel was quoted as saying in the statement.
The residents can submit comments or objections through email (email@example.com) and telephone (no. 22235253), the civic body said.
The mayor said the SDMC first identified a number of “open defecation hot spots” for ensuring sanitation access to all residents. Recently, it also brought in a policy, whereby women and children can access for free toilet facility in hotels, eateries and restaurants.
Sanitation is a major governance issue in Delhi and the BJP, which has been ruling the MCD for the last 10 years, has faced criticism from residents and opposition parties for “lack of cleanliness” in the city.
The Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress have continuously attacked the BJP-led corporations, alleging that the three civic bodies have turned the city into a “mound of garbage”.
The civic bodies had faired poorly in the Swachh Bharat survey which was released recently by the Centre. In the ‘Swachh Bharat’ reckoning of 434 cities for 2016-17, areas falling under the three municipal corporations were ranked low – the EDMC (196), SDMC (202) and NDMC (279).