Union government's open defecation free tag for Mumbai far from believable
Though the city of Mumbai has been declared open defecation free (ODF) by the union government, activists are highly critical about the criteria used for the assessment. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation submitted its ODF declaration to the Centre on December 29, 2016 following which a team of officials from the Quality Council of India visited the city for the mandatory inspection. The city, along with Navi Mumbai, was subsequently classified as ODF by the Ministry of Urban Development. Activists argue that while most South Mumbai neighbourhoods may be free from open defecation, going out in the open is still the everyday reality in most city slums.
Barmer launches unique scheme to promote toilet usage
In a bid to eliminate the age-old habit of open defecation, Rajasthan’s Barmer district administration has come up with a unique scheme of incentivising toilet use. The district collector has promised cash payments of Rs 2500 per month for families using toilets regularly. The scheme has already been launched in Baytu and Gida Panchayats where 15,000 families are expected to be benefitted. The district administration is working with Cairn India's rural development organisation to implement the project and provide cash incentives for families. Based on the response from these two panchayats, the scheme will be expanded to other areas within the district.
Government school teachers asked to submit selfies with toilets
Government school teachers in Jharkhand’s West Singbhum district have been asked to submit selfies clicked with their toilets to prove latrine use. West Singbhum district deputy commissioner has revealed that disciplinary action will be initiated against permanent teachers who fail to produce selfie and toilet details while para teachers will be terminated from service. The state is working on mission mode to achieve open defecation free status by March this year and intends to motivate students and their families by using teachers as examples.
BBMP to penalise Bengaluru residents who fail to segregate garbage at source
In a bid to cut back on the rising garbage woes of the city, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has come up with a plan to penalise residents who fail to segregate garbage at source. Though the move has been welcomed by residents, many are critical about the civic body’s tendency to blame citizens for the city’s garbage crisis while many rule-flouting commercial establishments get away with it easily. Residents are of the opinion that they have been compliant in following rules related to waste segregation while it has been contractors who are at fault most of the times and the Palike itself is not coming up with proactive measures to improve the situation.
Bihar government to reward officials responsible for making blocks and districts open defecation free in the state
The Bihar government has announced that it would reward district administration and block level officials for taking the open defecation free movement forward in the state. Officials responsible for eliminating open defecation from an entire district can expect to be rewarded handsomely. Bihar has been historically lagging in achieving sanitation goals; the present government is going all out to turn the tables and achieve Swachh Bharat goals in a time bound manner.
This is a roundup of important sanitation related news published between January 28 and February 3, 2016.
Image courtesy: The Asian Age