- Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs announced that urban areas of 35 states have been declared Open Defecation Free.
- It includes 4,167 cities. The target has been achieved through third party verification.
- According to the ministry, the target has been achieved by constructing 65.81 lakh households toilets as against the target of 59 lakhs. In order to achieve the target, the ministry had launched ODF+ and ODF++ protocols.
- The ministry also launched Water+ protocol to make sure that no untreated waste water is discharged into water bodies.
How was the target achieved?
- The Ministry partnered with Google and mapped all the public toilets for ease of access to citizens. Today around 2,300 cities have more than 57,000 public toilets mapped on google maps.
- Swachh Bharat Abhiyan(SBA) or Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) is a nation-wide campaign in India for the period 2014 to 2019 that aims to clean up the streets, roads and infrastructure of India’s cities, towns, urban and rural areas. The campaign’s official name is in Hindi and translates to “Clean India Mission” in English.
- The objectives of Swachh Bharat include eliminating open defecationthrough the construction of household-owned and community-owned toilets and establishing an accountable mechanism of monitoring toilet use.
- Run by the Government of India, the mission aims to achieve an “open-defecation free”(ODF) India by 2 October 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, by constructing 100 million toilets in rural India at a projected cost of ₹1.96 lakh crore (US$28 billion).
- The mission will also contribute to India reaching Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6), established by the UN in 2015.