New Delhi: Ahmedabad, the largest city of Gujarat, is gearing up for the fourth edition of cleanliness survey, the Swachh Survekshan 2019. The city on January 5 received open defecation free plus (ODF+) certificate from the Union government. The ODF+ protocol was introduced by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in August 2018. The focus of the ODF+ protocol is to ensure the sustainability and the long term impact of the ODF status.
The city of Ahmedabad was declared ODF in 2016 and the last re-verification was done in September 2018. To achieve ODF+ status, a city needs to fulfill a set of guidelines. To state a few, all public and community toilets need to be clean and well maintained. They should have continuous water supply, proper drainage system, sanitary napkin vending machines and incinerators, hand dryer, should be child and disabled friendly and other things. Basically they need to have all the qualities of a good toilet. The kind of toilets you have at airports or in five star hotels, says Harshadray Solanki, Director of Solid Waste Management, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), while speaking to NDTV.
Ahmedabad has a total of 350 public toilets, community toilets and public urinals in the city. The ODF+ certificate states that almost all the 350 toilets and urinals met the ODF+ criteria.
The inspection team randomly checks 10 per cent of the total toilets in the city which means, all the toilets need to be equipped with basic facilities or meet the ODF+ criteria. In our case they erratically checked 35 toilets and 50 per cent of the toilets surveyed were found to be excellent, 14 per cent to be aspirational and 36 per cent to be very clean, says Mr Solanki.
The independent assessment was carried out by the Quality Council of India (QCI), a third party hired by the government of India. From January 2 to 4, the third party evaluated public and community toilets in the city on different basis and on January 5 AMC received the ODF+ certificate.
We are the first city in the state of Gujarat to achieve ODF+ status. Having achieved this, we plan to sustain it and move towards ODF++ which focusses on achieving sanitation sustainability by addressing complete sanitation value chain, including safe and complete fecal sludge management, says Mukesh Gadhvi, Deputy Municipal Commissioner, AMC.
With ODF+ certificate AMC has secured 200 marks out of 5,000 in Swachh Survekshan 2019. Hopefully, the city will attain a better position this year.
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.