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Anti-open defecation drive: Mumbai’s 36 Good Morning squads fine 576 in 15 days

The Mumbai groups also undertake cleanliness campaigns.

mumbai Updated: Sep 28, 2017 09:37 IST
Sanjana Bhalerao
Sanjana Bhalerao
Hindustan Times
open defecation,Swachh Bharat Abhiyan,BMC

In a last-ditch attempt to ensure that the city remains open defecation free ahead of the Centre’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’s third anniversary, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) deployed 36 Good Morning squads earlier this month.

As many as 180 workers patrol each ward in groups of five from 5:30 am daily. Each group consists of a clean up marshal, solid waste management workers and labourers. They not only fine offenders, but undertake cleanliness campaigns.

BMC data shows that the squad collected Rs57,600 from 576 offenders over the past 15 days.

Mumbai was certified as being free of open defecation by the Union government’s Quality Council of India (QCI) under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2016 and 17, contradicting several reports that the practice was an ongoing one.The certification, which is valid only for six months, was awarded to the BMC in April.

For the civic body to receive the certificate for the third time, it must ensure that its infrastructure is maintained.

The move gained traction after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Maharashtra government expressed concerns over the civic body’s ability to maintain the city’s open defecation-free status.

Maharashtra has a three-tier verification process to determine whether a town is open defecation free.First, the urban local body inspects the city, followed by an audit conducted by the collector, and finally, the state.

The cities and towns then approach the Union government, seeking a certification declaring them as open-defecation free under the Swachh Bharat mission.

There are currently 7,415 toilets across the city, in addition to 4,000 new public toilets that are have been under construction for the past year.The civic body also plans to spend Rs3 crore to install 800 mobile toilet seats at 95 locations.

First Published: Sep 28, 2017 09:34 IST