It's the beginning of 2018, and another feather has already been added to Hyderabad's cap with the ODF tag.

Hyderabad is now open defecation free declares Centre
news Civic issues Wednesday, January 03, 2018 - 14:57

It’s the beginning of the new year and looks like Hyderabad is off to a good start.

Adding another feather to Hyderabad’s cap, the city was declared open defecation free (ODF) by the Centre on Tuesday.

The Swachh Bharat mission granted the ODF tag to Hyderabad after the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) undertook measures like construction of 98 public toilets, including 24 toilets for women, urging petrol bunks and restaurants to allow public to use their toilets and so on, said a press statement.

GHMC Mayor Bonthu Ram Mohan expressed his happiness at this achievement. He said, “Though it was a herculean task to achieve the ODF tag, but because of the efforts and inspiration by Minister of IT, Municipal Administration and Urban development, KT Rama Rao, we could achieve this.”

“In the same spirit we will continue to strive in achieving the first place in the Swacch Sarvekshana-2018,” Bonthu Ram added.

B Janardhan Reddy, GHMC Commissioner said, “The ODF tag given to Hyderabad has made us more responsible, and we will continue with our efforts to retain the ODF tag.”

The Centre awards the ODF certificates to cities based on a third-party recommendation. This third party, the Quality Council of India, had conducted its inspection last week.

However, the ODF tag is not permanent and is subject to recertification after a six-month period. This is done to ensure that there is no slackness in hygiene and cleanliness once the tag has been awarded.

The Swachh Bharat Directorate also declared six other Urban Local Bodies open defecation free. These are Warangal Municipal Corporation (WMC), Miryalguda, Jangoan, Bellampally, Mancherial and Sadashivpet. The certificates will also be awarded to them in the coming days.

As of November 2017, 1,789 Indian cities had been declared open defecation free. And by October 2017, 2.5 lakh villages also had the ODF tag. However, there is research arguing that a good number of the latter claims could be unverified.  There are also concerns about whether building toilets is enough to ensure that people use them.

Eradicating open defecation is part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, which aims to make India open defecation free by October 2019, which is also when the mission will complete four years. 

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