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  Four wards open defecation free; 20 more are lagging

Four wards open defecation free; 20 more are lagging

Published : Aug 19, 2016, 1:45 am IST
Updated : Aug 19, 2016, 1:45 am IST

Even as four wards have been declared open defecation free (ODF) in Mumbai, the fate of 20 other wards is pending till March 2016, which is the deadline set by the BMC to meet its ODF targets.

Sanjay Deshmukh
 Sanjay Deshmukh

Even as four wards have been declared open defecation free (ODF) in Mumbai, the fate of 20 other wards is pending till March 2016, which is the deadline set by the BMC to meet its ODF targets. This involves construction of toilets in spots where open defecation is practiced, whether the area is a slum or a non-slum area in the city.

However, even though officially the BMC has agreed upon the March 2017 deadline, the civic solid waste management department is striving to complete the task on constructing 2,500 community toilets in Mumbai by December 2016.

Sanjay Deshmukh, additional municipal commissioner in charge of the SWM department said, “We have fixed the internal deadline so that we have a buffer period. In case spots get left out during construction of toilets, we need that much time in hand to reevaluate the situation.”

For the internal deadline of December, the SWM department has created a ward-wise timetable for completion of the toilets’ construction. While wards ‘B’, ‘C’, ‘D’, and ‘T’ have already been declared free of open defecation, the ‘N’ ward in the area of Ghatkopar, and the and the ‘R South’ ward in Kandivali will be free of open defecation by August end.

The ‘N’ ward has a total of three ODF spots, and the BMC has planned 165 new toilet seats in its vicinity. The ‘R South’ ward has a total of two ODF spots, and the BMC has planned 202 toilet seats in their vicinity.

The highest number of ODF spots have been located in the ‘E’ ward in Byculla at 17, even though the highest number of toilets at 275 seats is to be constructed in the K East ward in Santa Cruz.

A senior civic official of the SWM department said, “The number of toilets to be constructed in each ward is not directly proportional to the number of ODF spots in the locality. We have even considered availability of household toilets in some areas to decide the number of toilets required. For example, slums need more community toilets, even though they may show fewer instances of open defecation.”