‘130 out of 136 urban local bodies declared open defecation-free’

  • The State government informed the Madras High Court that out of 15 municipal corporations and 121 municipalities in the State, six were yet to be declared open defecation-free places. Of the 136 urban local bodies, only 130 had so far been declared open defecation-free cities and towns.
  • The submission was made in a counter affidavit filed before the First Division Bench of Chief Justice Amreshwar Pratap Sahi and Justice Subramonium Prasad, who were seized of a batch of cases aimed at effective implementation of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act of 2013.
  • The Municipal Administration and Water Supply department said so far 13,772 insanitary latrines were demolished and 2,63,372 of individual household latrines constructed under the Swachh Bharat Mission scheme.
  • “All insanitary latrines in urban areas of the State have been demolished and converted into sanitary latrines”.
  • The court was also told that 2,846 animators, 230 supervisors and 11 coordinators were engaged between 2016-17 and 2018-19 at a financial outlay of `71 crore to identify open defecation areas and bring about behavioural change among people by educating them about the importance of sanitation.
  • The department told the court that the government adopted a zero-tolerance policy against violation of ban imposed on manual scavenging.
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