In a bid to achieve Open Defecation Free (ODF) cities and towns across the country, the government has come up with a plan that will assign unique identification numbers to public and community toilets in urban areas to ensure their upkeep.
Part of the Swachh Bharat mission, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has issued an official document that mandates all state mission directors and municipal commissioners to identify public and community toilets in their jurisdiction and allocate these with unique IDs that have to be ‘prominently’ displayed on their entrances hereafter.
“You are requested to identify all public access toilets and community toilets in your city, provide each of these with unique identification numbers,” the document stated.
Each of these toilets will also have to offer citizens with a grievance redressal mechanism along with necessary details such as the pertaining local body, maintenance authorities and name and contact number of supervisor or in-charge.
“To ensure that the drive is effective, citizens must have access to grievance redressal mechanism as well as be aware of basic information about the toilets they wish to use,” it added.
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The new initiative aims to reach out to 4,302 cities, and over 2.34 lakh community and public toilets that have been reportedly constructed in the country under the mission. The underlying idea behind the new initiative is that if the toilets remain in usable conditions at all times, one wouldn’t have to resort to open spaces for defecation.
As further stated in the document, their cleanliness plays a vital role in ensuring that areas near them remain open defecation-free, which is an essential component of the mission.