(G.N.S) Dt. 27
Corporation passes resolution, Central team to visit for verification soon; few ex-councillors sceptical.
The Greater Chennai Corporation has declared that the city is ‘open defecation-free’.
The declaration is mandatory as per the protocol issued by the Ministry of Urban Development, under the Swachh Bharat Mission.
A preliminary resolution has been passed by the Greater Chennai Corporation declaring all the 200 wards open defecation-free, according to sources.
As there was no objection from the public in 15 days from the notification was issued, all zonal officers of Chennai Corporation have certified to this effect. “The final resolution was passed by the Corporation Special Officer’s Council,” said an official.
The civic body has communicated the resolution to the State Mission Director, Swachh Bharat Mission, Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department. Soon the Union Government would send a team for verification within 30 days, an official said.
Meanwhile, a few former councillors disagreed that the city was open defecation-free. “Many areas such as Ambedkar Bridge in Ward 125 continue to witness open defecation. Most of the canals and river banks have reported open defecation. Even railway stations such as Taramani are not open defecation-free. Locating a toilet in the city remains a challenge for senior citizens. There is no public toilet along many main roads,” said Mangala Raj, a former councillor.
‘More needs to be done’
Madras School of Social Work assistant professor T. Rufus Singh, who spearheaded a sanitation drive in the city, said sanitation has improved in a few areas with the cooperation of residents. “Canals and river banks continue to report open defecation. It takes a lot of time to change the behaviour of the residents,” said Mr.Rufus.
Former councillors like Deva Jawahar felt that the Chennai Corporation has to provide more toilet facilities along all roads.
Corporation officials said declarations have been obtained from former councillors, school students, teachers and management, self-help groups among others certifying that the wards were open defecation free.
The Swachh Bharat Mission was launched on October 2, 2014, with objectives such as achievement of open defecation free status in all the 4041 urban local bodies in the country by October 2019.
The Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India circulated the protocol for declaration of open defecation free for urban local bodies on July 21, 2016
(G.N.S) Dt. 27