Under the Swachh Maharashtra Mission (Urban), the Government of Maharashtra envisages ‘ODF communities’ moving towards ‘ODF+ and
ODF++ communities’ by addressing the entire service chain of sanitation and not focussing only on the number of toilets constructed in the cities. The Government of Maharashtra has adopted a systematic approach by viewing the city as a unit and encouraging city managers to move towards improved sanitation by prioritising access, promoting the use of own toilets and implementing plans for safe management of faecal waste.
The objectives of the mission are:
• Elimination of open defecation
• Eradication of manual scavenging
• Modern and scientific municipal solid waste management
• To effect behavioural change regarding healthy sanitation practices
• Generate awareness about sanitation and its linkage with public health
• Capacity augmentation for ULBs
• To create an enabling environment for private sector participation in Capex (capital expenditure) and Opex (operation and maintenance)
The Swachh Maharashtra Mission was launched by the State government with the aim of creating ’Sustainable ODF communities’. In a short span of time the mission has resulted in 52 ODF cities. The next crucial step is to maintain the ODF status of these cities. The sustainability of the ODF cities has to be based on a planned and systematic approach – the Guidelines for Sustaining Cities as Open Defecation Free (ODF) has been prepared for this purpose. These guidelines will not only channelise the efforts of urban local bodies but will also help cities in achieving ODF+/ODF++ status.