Uttar Pradesh targets ODF++ category by 2025 under Swachh Bharat mission

Uttar Pradesh is now preparing to achieve ODF++ for its villages by 2025, in the second phase of the Swachh Bharat (Rural) mission. The move comes after the state was declared Open Defecation Free (ODF). This was stated by an official spokesperson for the state’s Panchayati Raj department.

An area can be declared ODF+ if at any time of the day no one is found defecating and/or urinating in the open, and all community and public toilets are functional and well maintained . While the ODF++ protocol adds the condition that faecal sludge and wastewater are safely managed and treated, with no discharge and/or dumping of faecal sludge/septics and untreated wastewater into sewers, water bodies or open areas.

The government of Uttar Pradesh led by Yogi Adityanath is making every effort to transform the UP countryside in terms of cleanliness and clean environment – building personal and community toilets, putting in place a system for their maintenance regular, ensuring sound sludge management and sewage system, ensuring the safe disposal of faecal, solid and liquid waste, as well as maintaining a steady supply of water – over the next four years, has said the spokesperson.

As the mission is large, the government is also considering community involvement to achieve the goals, the spokesperson said. The aim is to relegate the age-old practice of open defecation to history and write a new chapter in the evolution of UP villages.

The central government has approved a budget of Rs 2,548 crore for UP for the implementation of Swach Bharat Mission (SBM) phase 2 in fiscal year 2022-2023, it was clarified. So far, the UP government has constructed 58,059 community toilets, mostly for SC/ST communities as well as migrant workers in phase 2 of the mission, which started in 2020, except for the 2.18 crore of toilets built during the first phase.

All toilets are maintained by women members of SHGs who receive a monthly subsidy of Rs 9,000 from the government for toilet maintenance per panchayat. The department of panchayati raj has also prepared an action plan to achieve an ODF++ rating for 4,723 villages in 2022-23 regarding solid/liquid waste management and disposal with community participation.

Additionally, the government has constructed 8.70 lakh toilets for new families and migrant workers, while construction is underway on thousands more after applications were received through the department’s portal. The government has also trained 940 people, including deputy division directors, panchayat officers, district officers, masons and sanitation workers, in effective management of sewer systems in villages.

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The department also constructed 24,394 community compost pits and 67,640 community drying pits, in addition to completing the Gobar Dhan-18 project as 7,656 villages achieved ODF+ status. Over the past five and a half years, Uttar Pradesh has built the largest number of toilets and is also working tirelessly to have a sustainable system for their maintenance, as well as a strong system for managing faecal waste, liquids and solids.