Urban Kerala To Be Open-Defecation Free By Jan 2018
A year after rural Kerala was declared open-defecation free, urban areas in the southern state are now set to achieve the same status.
Only 16 toilets are left to be constructed to meet the target of 27,745 individual household latrines (IHL) under the urban ODF programme, and its work is expected to be completed soon, official sources said.
Of the total 93 urban civic bodies in the state, 20 units, including two municipal corporations and 18 municipalities, have already been declared ODF. A senior official of the Suchitwa Mission, the state nodal agency for sanitation, said a number of other civic bodies were also waiting for the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs' inspection after their self-declaration as ODF.
According to the procedure, each civic body has to declare itself as ODF first after the construction of targeted number of toilets within its limit. After that, the Central government sends a team of expert team to visit the places for a third-party inspection. If the criteria are met satisfactorily, the civic body is awarded the ODF tag. The team inspects the same area again after six months to ensure the follow up actions in this regard.
"Many civic bodies have already completed self-declaration procedure and waiting for the inspection by the Centre team," the mission official said.
"But, some others are putting their self-declaration plan on hold for the construction of public toilet complexes, which is a fresh scheme by the state government," he said.
Expressing hope that urban Kerala will be declared complete ODF by the end of January, the official said: "Even if it may take some more time for the construction of public toilets, the declaration will not go beyond March next year."
In the urban area, Thrissur and Kozhikode corporations have already been declared open-defecation free.
Payyannur, Tirurangadi, Pala, Vaikom, Farook, Koylandi, Taliparamba, Koothuparamba, Iritty, Perumbavoor, Kottarakkara and Kanjangadu are other municipalities which have achieved the ODF tag.
Though the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation in the state capital has completed the self-declaration procedure, it is yet to get an approval from the Centre for the third-party inspection.
Rural Kerala was declared open-defecation free in November, 2016. About 1.75 lakh toilets had been constructed in rural parts of the state.
With inputs from Housing News