MCDs say need at least a month to make wards open defecation-free
According to parameters of the Swachh Bharat Mission, any urban local body can declare its wards open defecation-free (ODF) only if it is successful in providing public conveniences at 75 % of its areas.delhi Updated: Jul 03, 2017 21:30 IST
Delay in construction of toilet complexes at slums in south and east Delhi is likely to put the civic bodies’ project to declare all its wards open defecation-free in the slow lane.
According to parameters of the Swachh Bharat Mission, any urban local body can declare its wards open defecation-free (ODF) only if it is successful in providing public conveniences at 75 % of its areas.
Also, there should be provision for toilets within 500 metres of slum settlements.
Assuming that these norms would be fulfilled, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation in May made its preliminary resolution public and declared 92 of 104 wards open defecation-free. The agency had invited feedback and objections from residents but didn’t get any response.
Arrangements are being made for toilet complexes in areas that belong to other agencies such as Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) and Railways, but fall under the jurisdiction of the MCD.
“We asked the agencies to either construct the toilet complexes in slums and jhuggi clusters or provide us land to construct them,” said a senior EDMC official.
But during meetings with the officials of various agencies (whose land fall in the jurisdiction of South MCD) early this month, it was found that people living in slums (located near railway tracks) are still defecating in the open.
“This increased our worries as implementation of the project was not as simple as it looked. We had to request DUSIB to speed up construction of toilets and if there is no land, they should approach other agencies,” said a senior official.
Officials said the process was underway and likely to be completed in a month. Only after that, the SDMC will share its final resolution to the state government for formally awarding the corporation open defecation-free status.
Third party verification will be conducted before the final status is awarded to any MCD.
The status is no where different in the East MCD, which has initiated the process to make all it 64 wards open defection-free early this month.
“We submitted details to the Delhi Government for 40 wards but due to shortage of documents, the sanctioning of ‘ODF’ status was put on hold. We need NOC from school students, RWAs, councillors and residents to confirm there are enough community toilets complexes,” said a senior official, EDMC.