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Goa’s urban local bodies on way to attain ODF++

Panaji: As many as 798 individual household toilets (IHHT) have been constructed and another 366 toilets are under construction in urban areas under the Swachh Bharat Mission – Urban (SBM-U) scheme, according to Goa State Urban Development Agency (GSUDA).

The project of toilet construction was allotted to Sulabh International in July last year to fulfill the state’s objective of achieving 100 per cent open defecation free (ODF) status in all urban local bodies (ULBs) and to become eligible to declare them as SBM-ODF+ and SBM-ODF++.

Except for Pernem and Ponda municipalities and the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP), all urban local bodies have submitted the list of required number of individual toilets to Sulabh International for construction so as to become eligible for Open Defecation Free protocol (ODF ++) certification.

According to officials, the maximum number of 292 toilets was demanded in Margao, with 117 individual toilets constructed; the remaining would be completed by January-end.

In Mapusa, out of 197 toilets, Sulabh International has constructed 116 toilets and work on constructing the remaining toilets is in progress. In Cuncolim, 156 toilets were required of which 23 are yet to be constructed, while in Bicholim where work order was issued for constructing 150 toilets, 138 have been constructed and work on the remaining toilets is under progress.

The Mormugao municipality had demanded construction of 142 toilets for identified households of which 71 have been constructed and balance would be completed soon. In Sankhali, 97 per cent of the required list of 87 toilets, submitted by the municipal council, has been constructed. Similarly, in Canacona, there has been almost 100 per cent achievement in constructing 21 individual toilets.

Hundred per cent toilet construction has been achieved following a list of 75 toilets submitted by the Valpoi municipal council, and almost all of these are for household use. As a result, the town is now open defecation free. In Curchorem too, there has been 100 per cent construction of 43 toilets.

These water-based technology toilets consist of two pits (similar in design to soak pits), which are linked using a Y-junction to a single pour-flush toilet, which allows on-site treatment and transformation of the fecal sludge into a hygienised soil amendment.

According to officials of GSUDA, majority of the toilets were constructed using bricks and provided with tiles on floor and partly on wall which cost Rs 39,000 per unit.

The municipalities had three options to select from – walls with bricks without any tiling at a cost of Rs 35,000 per unit, walls using bricks with tiles on floor and wall upto 1.5 feet at a cost of Rs 39,000 per unit and constructing using laterite stone with tiling costing Rs 45,000 per unit.

The first third party quality check survey for ‘ODF plus plus’ certification was conducted in August 2019 and it found the work on toilet construction in these municipalities to be satisfactory. The next inspection is due in February this year for validation of outcome of work and its usage.

Under the Swachh Bharat Mission, in August 2018, in order to ensure effective functioning of public and community toilets and to address proper disposal of fecal sludge, Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) had introduced the Open Defecation Free Plus Plus (ODF++) and Open Defecation Free Plus (ODF+) protocols.

Municipalities were declared ODF in 2019 based on the public and community toilets constructed in their wards and now with the construction of individual toilets, they are vying for an upgrade to ODF++.

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