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Urban India, except Bengal, declared open defecation-free, says Ministry

The government had declared rural India open defecation-free on October 2, 2019. File

The government had declared rural India open defecation-free on October 2, 2019. File   | Photo Credit: M.A. Sriram

65.81 lakh individual household toilets constructed against the target 59 lakh, it says

The Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry on Monday said the Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban had achieved its goal of making urban India free of open defecation, though urban local bodies in West Bengal had not been declared open defecation free (ODF).

“The Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban has achieved its target of creating urban India ODF. Urban areas of 35 States and Union Territories have become ODF. In all, 4,320 cities [out of 4,372] have declared themselves ODF, of which 4,167 cities have been certified through third-party verification,” a statement from the Ministry said, adding that 52 ULBs of West Bengal were not included.

Under the SBM, which was launched on October 2, 2014, the government had declared rural India ODF on October 2, while the deadline for urban India had been pushed while third-party audits and compliance from West Bengal were awaited, according to officials.

The Ministry’s statement said 65.81 lakh individual household toilets had been constructed while the target had been 59 lakh, and 5.96 lakh community or public toilet seats had been added against the target of 5.08 lakh.

The Ministry said 819 cities and 312 cities had been declared ODF+ and ODF++, which set targets for maintaining public toilets and proper management of sludge toilets respectively.

On solid waste management, the Ministry said 96% of the urban wards had door-t-door collection of garbage and about 60% of the municipal solid waste was being processed. Based on 12 parameters including cleanliness of drains, plastic management and construction waste management, the Ministry said Indore, Ambikapur, Navi Mumbai and Mysuru had been certified “five-star cities”. Fifty-seven cities were certified three-star and four cities one-star.

“Going forward, the Mission will focus on holistic and sustainable sanitation through faecal sludge management and 100% wastewater treatment and reuse. In solid waste management, it will focus on strengthening source segregation, collection, transportation and processing. Alongside, the Mission will also emphasise on construction and waste management and scientific landfilling and dumpsite remediation,” the statement read.

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 2:44:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/urban-india-except-bengal-declared-open-defecation-free-says-ministry/article30381566.ece

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