Maharashtra govt warns of action against civic bodies using ODF funds for other purposeshttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/maharashtra-govt-warns-of-action-against-civic-bodies-using-odf-funds-for-other-purposes-5153838/

Maharashtra govt warns of action against civic bodies using ODF funds for other purposes

The urban civic bodies should aim to improve their ODF rankings, for which it is necessary to clean septic tanks of personal, public and community toilets and scientifically dispose of the sewage collected, the GR said.

Maharashtra govt warns of action against civic bodies using ODF funds for other purposes
The Maharashtra government said local civic bodies had not kept up OD watch to retain ODF status (Representational Image)

The Maharashtra government has directed local civic bodies to maintain the Open Defecation Free (ODF) status granted to urban areas on October 1, 2017, and warned them of disciplinary action if funds meant for ODF programmes are diverted to other uses.

In a government resolution, the state said local civic bodies had not kept up OD watch to retain ODF status.

“It is the responsibility of civic bodies to retain ODF status. All civic bodies are instructed to once again implement OD watch programme for the next three months,” the GR said.

The urban civic bodies should aim to improve their ODF rankings, for which it is necessary to clean septic tanks of personal, public and community toilets and scientifically dispose of the sewage collected, the GR said.

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Septic tanks of all toilets should be cleaned through sewage vacuum emptier machine, the government resolution said, with proper planning and implementation, and the collected sewage should be treated in a sewage treatment plant.

“In urban local bodies where there is no STP, the collected sewage should be disposed of scientifically. The state government would provide the technical guidance for the purpose to the respective civic bodies through Swachh Maharashtra Mission directorate and CEPT,” the government resolution stated.

Financial incentives granted to cities to encourage them to achieve ODF status should be used for the purpose declared, otherwise disciplinary action would be taken against civic officials, the government resolution said.

It added that civic bodies should properly maintain public and community toilets by ensuring power and water supply and keep doors and urinary pots in good condition.

The government resolution stated that the construction of personal toilets under Swachh Maharashtra Mission is incomplete, and in some places, residents have been given only the first installment of financial assistance to build toilets, for which construction has not been undertaken.

“The civic bodies where the construction of toilets is either incomplete or yet to be started should ensure construction is complete by May-end. The civic bodies should ensure that geo-tagging of toilets is done and uploaded on the state government portal. Also, all the civic bodies have been directed to carry out Aaadhar updation of the personal toilets constructed under the Swachh scheme by May-end,” the government resolution said.