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