New Delhi: Till date, 3 crore toilets have been constructed in India, 5 states have been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) like Kerala, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Rural Haryana and Rural Uttarakhand, around 2 lakh villages are free from the practice of open defecation. And, the challenge to work towards a Swachh India continues. In a recent meeting which was held in New Delhi to review the progress of various urban schemes, all seven Union Territories of India have pledged to become ODF by March 2018.
There are 16 urban local bodies in the 7 Union Territories, including the three civic bodies of Delhi. Till now only New Delhi Municipal Council, Chandigarh and Mahe in Puducherry have attained the title of open defecation free. The road to becoming ODF by all the 7 UTs by next year is tough but if done right the mammoth task can be achieved.
— Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (@MoHUA_India) July 6, 2017
Highlights of The Meeting
During the meeting, it was assured that South and East Municipal Corporations of Delhi will get the status of open defecation free by October this year. Whereas, for North civic body, the deadline to achieve the ODF tag is set for December.
Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, who chaired the meeting urged Delhi’s civic bodies to improve their Swachh Survekshan rankings. In the recently held Swachh Survekshan, the performance of Delhi was below par. Out of 434 cities part of the Swachh survey Delhi’s three municipalities ranked poorly – East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) – Rank 196 , South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) – Rank 202 and North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) – Rank 279. The reason for the low ranks have been attributed to improper sewage treatment facilities and lack of public toilets.
Mr Naidu also asked the authorities to work on installing high-visibility signages for public toilets, construction of new toilets among other things like providing tap water to every household under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) scheme and improvement of Sewerage connectivity.
Mr Naidu also complimented Chandigarh for being the first city to ensure water taps to all households under AMRUT scheme.
The meeting was attended by all the UTs local authorities, ministers, mayors and other senior officials. With this review, Mr Naidu has completed the review of the progress of urban missions in 29 states and UTs so far.