Udupi tops in Swachhata Darpan rankings for ODF districts

Udupi tops in Swachhata Darpan rankings for ODF districts

Udupi district has bagged the top rank at the national-level in Swachhata Darpan rankings for ODF (open defecation-free) districts across the country under the Swachh Bharat Mission.

Dakshina Kannada is second in Karnataka and 33rd in the country.

The ranking is exclusively based on the performance indicator with data available in the Management Information System (MIS) on open defecation-free (ODF) and ODF post activities. The key indicators are performance, sustainability and transparency.

A representative of the top-ranked district will receive the award at a function to be held in New Delhi on October 2, commemorating the launch of Swachh Bharat Mission.

Udupi Deputy commissioner Priyanka Mary Francis told DH that the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation is ranking all districts in the country to encourage states and districts to improve sanitation and solid-liquid waste management. The final rankings will be announced at the end of each quarter. To instil a healthy competition among districts, they will be given awards on a quarterly basis. Plans chalked out to deal with the future crisis and coordination from all quarters in the system yielded better results, she added.

Zilla Panchayat CEO Shivanand Kapashi said the indicators have been judged based on their contribution to the success of the Swachh Bharat Mission. Each key indicator has sub-indicators weighed to form a total score of 100. The district with the highest score is ranked 1st.

This indicator focuses on individual household latrine (IHHL) coverage and open defecation-free coverage which are the pillars of the Swachh Bharat Mission. Performance also includes conversion of dysfunctional and dirty toilets.

As sustainability of the programme depends significantly on behaviour change and Information, Education and Communication (IEC), fund utilisation through IEC activities is being measured. Transparency is checked on the basis of implementation of Swachh Bharat Mission through geo-tagging. Aadhaar details are taken into consideration, he said.

ZP deputy secretary Srinivas Rao said that the post ODF and website management activities are also taken into consideration.

'Long way to go'

Though Dakshina Kannada has is second in Karnataka and 33rd in the country in Swachata Darpan rankings for ODF districts, Zilla Panchayat president Meenakshi Shanthigodu said that the district has a long way to go in sanitation. The total score of the district is 91.04%. The report shows that the district is lagging in sustainability where it received 91.04%.

Speaking to DH, she thanked the officials and elected representatives in helping the district get the top rankings in the state. "Several organisations are striving to keep the district clean. Yet, dumping garbage by the roads continues. There is a need to create awareness on it," she pointed out.

"The Zilla Panchayat has decided to hold Swachatha Dna every third Saturday in schools, to create awareness among schoolchildren. "Namma Tyajya Namma Hone" concept is being developed in the district. Just as we keep our houses clean, it is our duty to maintain cleanliness in our villages, taluks and district at large. All measures have been taken to construct toilets for the toiletless houses," she informed.

'Community participation'

ZP CEO Dr M R Ravi said, "Dakshina Kannada has been maintaining the ODF-plus tag with the efforts of elected representatives, officials and people. Moreover, it is not a one-time affair, but a continuous process. Cleanliness should become a part of our personalities and life."

There is also a need to bring in changes in the behaviour of the people. Community participation is essential to sustain the cleanliness initiatives, he added.