North body goes all out to get open defecation free tag
The corporation has failed on-the-ground inspections done by the Quality Council of India (QCI), conducted on behalf of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), thrice and this will be its fourth attempt.Updated: Jun 17, 2019 02:12 IST
The North Delhi Municipal Corporation, which is lagging behind its east and south counterparts in getting the ODF (Open Defecation Free) Certificate from the central government, is now putting in all efforts to get the same.
The corporation has failed on-the-ground inspections done by the Quality Council of India (QCI), conducted on behalf of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), thrice and this will be its fourth attempt. ODF is a part of the Swachh Bharat Mission and the central government aims to make India 100% open defecation-free by October 2, 2019 —the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
So far, in the country, a total of 3,246 Urban Local Bodies have been declared ODF by MoHUA. In the Capital, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) got the ODF certificate on July 4, 2018, and it has been renewed after inspection in February. The East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) got it for the first time on March 25 this year.
The north body commissioner, Varsha Joshi, said they are going to apply for the ODF certificate soon.
“We are putting in all the efforts possible. The Deputy Commissioners in our six zones -- Karol Bagh, Keshavpuram, Rohini, City Sadar-Paharganj, Narela and Civil Lines -- are spearheading the campaigns in their respective areas. Besides the engineering part of it -- building and renovating toilets -- we have begun large-scale awareness campaigns among the public to encourage them to use the facilities.”
The corporation already has 279 Community Toilets (CT) and 57 Public Toilets (PT) in the area under its jurisdiction. It has also deployed 28 Mobile Toilet Vans (MTVs) in areas “vulnerable to open defecation,” said senior officials. Previously, the corporation was denied the ODF certificate after QCI found “evidence of human faeces in such vulnerable areas like the railway line at Karol Bagh and empty plots in Rohini,” officials said.
Public education campaigns like ‘Roko Toko’ and ‘Seeti Bajao’ have been started on a large scale with home guards deployed to check open defecation. “We are also roping in children, especially in slum areas, to educate them on the dangers and public hygiene hazards of relieving oneself in the open. We are hoping they will take the message home to their parents,” said Nidhi Srivastava, Additional Commissioner, North corporation.
The north body serves a population of almost 62 lakhs citizens in an area of 605 square kilometer, which is about 43% of Delhi’s total geographical area.