The President of India in a function at Mumabi declared the urban Maharashtra Open Defecation Free (ODF) on October 1, 2017.
He congratulated all the members of the “Swachh Maharashtra Team” and those who worked hard on the ground to achieve this goal and had kept to the commitment of a two-year deadline, set on October 2, 2015.
Declaration of ‘ODF’ Urban Maharashtra is particularly relevant for the state as 49 per cent of Maharashtra’s people live in urban areas.
‘Smart Cities’ also require ‘Smart Sanitation’ and ‘Smart Waste Management’. The ‘OD Watch’ monitoring will be useful in alerting people and helping them quit old habits and not relapsing to open defecation.
Earlier, the Quality Council of India (QCI), a government regulator, certified the Mumbai as ODF in 2016 and 2017, leading to objections from activists and residents, who said the city has a long way to go.
The civic body of Mumbai also installed 800 mobile toilet seats at 95 locations, for which it spent Rs3 crore in April.
The state government’s Swachh Bharat mission report, however, shows the BMC in the bottom five civic corporations, in terms of building toilets.
State government says that the percentage of toilets in rural areas had gone up from 44% to 88%. By October next year all of rural Maharashtra will be ODF. CM Fadanvis said the entire state will be ODF by 2019.
President also inaugurated the Shirdi International Airport, flagged-off the inaugural flight from Shirdi to Mumbai and also inaugurated the centenary year celebrations of the Samadhi of Shri Sai Baba in Shirdi.