Mumbai civic body set to declare city free of open defecation next week
Although parts of Mumbai still do not have proper toilets, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is likely to go ahead and declare the city open defecation free this weekmumbai Updated: Dec 26, 2016 10:05 IST
Although parts of Mumbai still do not have proper toilets, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is likely to go ahead and declare the city open defecation free this week.
To the dismay of citizens, areas that do not fall under the civic body’s jurisdiction, such as Aarey colony, Mumbai Port Trust and defense area in south Mumbai among others, will not be considered while making this declaration, revealed sources. These areas still need proper toilets and Bollywood actor Salman Khan had offered to repair the existing ones in Aarey colony through BMC officials, who in turn were denied permission for the same.
A civic official, who did not want to be named, said, “Due to lack of coordination with different authorities in the city, it is not possible to consider those areas as open defecation free because we cannot improve them. There are permissions required for every step as they do not fall under the BMC’s jurisdiction. But wherever we found the possibility of placing mobile toilets, our ward officials did it.”
Furthermore, to declare the city open defecation free, the civic body has provided about 611 mobile toilet seats in the past two months as a temporary measure, wherever construction of permanent public or community (toilets in slums) toilets was delayed. It has spent approximately Rs2 crore at the ward level to facilitate this.
After two years of identifying 118 locations in the city where open defecation takes place, the BMC has managed to eliminate 44 locations from that list by providing permanent measures. And at the remaining 74 locations, 611 mobile toilet seats have been placed as a temporary measure to curb open defecation.
After declaring the city ODF, the civic body will start an awareness programme and urge citizens to use the toilets provided by it. It has also taken No Objection Certificates (NOC) from over 200 civic corporators while the remaining 20 odd have refrained from it. Further, after self-declaration, a team of central government officials will visit the city and check the infrastructure along with the criteria of having at least one toilet every 500 meters.
If the civic body can fulfil the criteria, only then will it get the open defecation free certificate.
“This certificate however will be valid only for six months and thus maintenance of infrastructure will be a continuous process that we will take up,” said another civic official.