In the outdoor defecation-free amenities category, Punjab has topped the country with 99.38 per cent of its urban local bodies (ULBs) sustaining public toilets with the basic required amenities.

Barring the Fatehgarh Churian ULB, all other 162 ULBs have been shortlisted to get the certification. When all the municipal bodies in the country had been declared open defecation free (ODF), the Centre started assessing the states on the higher order certification — ODF and ODF .

In this process, 4,374 ULBs have been assessed recently by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs for ODF Certification through the third party assessment. Across the country, 88.18 per cent ULBs have got the certification.

The process of certification involves third-party filed assessment for checking of open defecation, functionality of individual, public and community toilets and their status of maintenance. All toilets should be on Google maps and there should be no open defecation.

The success percentage was 88.89 in Uttarakhand, 81.60 in Haryana, 80 in Delhi, 75.4 in Himachal and 73.75 in Jammu and Kashmir.

The urban Punjab was declared ODF on October 2, 2018, when all ULBs had achieved the third-party certified ODF status, which became possible with triggering of people who did not have household toilets to build IHHLs, construction and use of community toilets and construction and proper maintenance of public toilets.

Infra must for ODF , ODF certification

After achieving ODF status, the municipalities are assessed for ODF and ODF certification

For certification of ODF , ODF , 10% and 25% of the total community/ public toilets should be of aspirational category, respectively

These should have facilities such as availability of ventilator, dry floor, washbasin, 24X7 water supply, soap dispenser, disabled-friendly seat/ ramp, child-friendly urinals, sanitary vending/ disposal machine in women toilet, flashlight in the evening and feedback mechanism

Source: 08 July, 2021, The Tribune