The Maharashtra government on Thursday declared a hundred towns in the state as open defecation free and felicitated the respective municipal councils, while reiterating its target of completely ridding the entire state, including Mumbai, of open defecation by October 2017.
The towns declared free of open defecation include Panchgani, Pandharpur, Baramati, Kankavli, Sawantwadi, Matheran, Karmala, Satara, Malkapur, Mahad, Roha and Wai, among others.
Of the 100 towns, 52 have also been verified to be open defecation free by the Quality Council of India, which has been entrusted with the task of conducting a third-party audit of 4,041 cities across the country to ensure that these have been freed of open defecation.
“Maharashtra has the highest number of cities that have been declared open defecation free. The state is 50% urbanised and we need to pay more attention to our cities’ solid and liquid waste, which forms 90 percent of the discharge polluting our water bodies today,” said Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Maharashtra has a three-tier verification process before the state declares any town open defecation free.