After chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan declared to make Madhya Pradesh open defecation-free (ODF) by the end of 2017, mayor Alok Sharma told HT the state capital will be freed of open defecation by this year.
He said the Bhopal Municipal Corporation will launch a ‘roko-toko abhiyan’ to stop offenders. “Our team will blow whistles the moment we spot people defecating in the open. I believe this is the only way people will realise that they are littering the city,” Sharma said.
“Our aim is to make Bhopal open defecation-free so that the city receives a better rank by the next Swachh Survekshan. I’ll take part in this campaign and target areas such as railway tracks, open grounds, Aishbag, Ashoka Garden, Mother India Colony, Kohe-fiza etc.,” he added.
Urban Bhopal secured the 21st position in Swachh Survekshan Gramin 2016 that ranked cities and towns on parameters such as strategy for open defecation-free town; integrated solid waste management; information, education and behaviour change of communication activity; door-to-door collection, sweeping, transportation processing and disposal of solid waste, public and community toilet provision and individual toilet. The survey ranked 75 best performing districts with more than 70,000 households.
The city had failed to feature in the top 53 rural divisions in terms of sanitation and hygiene in India. Indore stood 13th, Narsinghpur 37th and Sehore 38th in terms of awareness of the cleanliness drive in rural India.
A Swachh Survekshan will be conducted in January 2017 and this will rank 500 cities and towns with a population of 1 lakh and above.
Recently, authorities of a local body at a village in Betul district decided to beat drums whenever they spot people defecating in the open. Prior to this, authorities concerned in Katni, Shahdol, Neemuch and Harda have also tried unusual ideas to achieve the ODF status.