Updated: October 25, 2019 9:34:54 am
Chandigarh has been declared Open Defecation Free Plus Plus (ODF++) by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) under the Swachh Bharat mission. The previous status of Chandigarh was ODF. Being an ODF ++ city was a pre-qualifying condition to compete for five star and above rankings in the garbage-free cities in the Swachh Survekshan that will be conducted in January 2020.
In order to ensure effective functioning of public and community toilets and to address proper disposal of fecal sludge, the MoHUA had introduced the Open Defecation Free Plus Plus (ODF++) and Open Defecation Free Plus (ODF+) protocol under the Swachh Bharat Mission in August last year.
Both, ODF++ certification and Garbage-Free City Star Rating-5 certification, are the key to get a top ranking in Swachhata Survey 2020.
According to this protocol, every civic body has to focus on achieving sanitation sustainability by addressing complete sanitation value chain, including safe and complete fecal sludge management. ODF certifications entail providing access to clean and usable toilet facilities for the citizens.
Mysuru was the first city in the country that was declared ODF in September 2016. Indore, India’s cleanest city for the last three consecutive years, became the first ODF++ city in November last year.
Chandigarh was declared ODF in September 2016 and since then it was cooling off and vying for an upgrade to ODF+ or ODF++. So far 244 cities have been certified as ODF++ cities among 4372 urban local bodies of the country, while 586 urban cities are ODF+ certified.
In the 2019 Swachh Survekshan national ranking, Chandigarh had drastically fallen down to the 20th spot from its third rank in 2018. Chandigarh has been participating in Swachh Survekshan since its inception. In 2016, it had secured the second rank among the 73 million plus population cities. In 2017, the city was at 11th rank among 434 cities of more than 1 lakh population.
Vinod Vashisht, Convener of City Forum of Residents Welfare Organisations (CFORWO) said, “In Swachh Survekshan 2019, the prime reason of city’s fall in the ranking was its failure to get 5-Star Rating (mainly due to absence of door to door collection of segregated waste). Had Chandigarh got 5 star rating instead of its current 2-Star rating, it would have easily figured among top-5 cities of the country.”
Vashisht further added, “Without wasting much time MC should immediately apply for a better star rating from its present 2-star rating. Only 4 cities are certified with 5-star rating so far. This year Swachhata Survekshan protocol has been significantly tweaked.”
“The city has every chance to get back to top 10 cities bracket in the next cleanliness survey”, Vashisht added.
Chairman of Federation of Sectors welfare association of Chandigarh, Baljinder Singh Bittu said, “ I feel these ratings should actually be visible on the ground and not just on the papers. Lot needs to be done to at least regain the previous rank even.”
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