BBMP keen on ODF tag in next swachh survey

BBMP keen on ODF tag in next swachh survey

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) aims to get a good ranking in the Swachh Survekshan survey 2019, and also hopes to get open defecation-free city’ tag for Bengaluru.

The civic body has invited suggestions and objection from the public in this respect on Monday. Issuing a notice, the Palike said: “According to Swacch Bharat Mission criteria, the BBMP council meeting had approved and declared all 198 wards as open defecation-free (ODF) area.”

According to a survey conducted by Janaagraha in 2017, the city was short of 1,100 public toilets. However, now the civic body officials claim to have met 80% of the criteria to declare the city free of open defecation.

“It is true that there is a lack of toilets, especially in peripheral areas. For example, the labourers living in Kundalahalli do not have access to toilets. We are building community toilets and are also focusing on individual household toilets,” said Sarfaraz Khan, joint commissioner, health and solid waste management, BBMP.

"We have met 80% of the necessary criteria, and that is why we are applying for the ODF tag. If we fulfil 100% of the criteria, we can attain ODF++,” said the officer added.

Meanwhile, the solid waste management experts believe that this is a step forward for a city like Bengaluru.

Sandhya Narayan, the member of Solid Waste Management Round Table, said: “This is more like a self-declaration. The officials would have obtained the inputs from nearby schools and colleges regarding the accessibility of toilets. They have to take care as and when the population grows.”

Drawing the importance towards drains and waterbodies, V Ramprasad, another expert said: “It is certainly a step forward. However, we should also look into making drains and waterbodies free of solid waste, because that also counts to get ODF tag.”

Sapna Karim, head of Civic Participation at Janaagraha said: “The officials should make the latest data on ODF available for the public so that we will know about their claims.”

However, a few residents from Bellandur have raised their objections to this.

“Most of our ward does not have basic sanitation facilities, and there are hardly one or two public toilets in our ward. They (BBMP) should do an audit before declaring the city as ODF,” said Vishnu Prasad.

The members of #SaveBellandur have written a letter to Sarfaraz Khan in this regard.

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