The district administration of Aurangabad in Maharashtra is constructing new individual household toilets and community toilets to cater to people who still do not have access to sanitation. At the same time, it is ensuring that people regularly use toilets and practice safe hygiene and sanitation practices.
The district which is better known for its 17th century marble Mughal mausoleum and Aurangabad caves was declared open defecation free (ODF) on 12th March 2018 after constructing 269502 individual household toilets (IHHLs). This was indeed an achievement given that the district’s sanitation coverage was just 24.90 per cent in 2012.
As Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen enters phase II of implementation, districts across the country have been focusing on sustaining the gains made under the programme in last five years in terms of toilet access and usage, ensuring that no one is left behind.
In keeping with this, district officials of Aurangabad, under the leadership of Dr. Mangesh Gondavale, Chief Executive Officer of Zilla Parishad Aurangabad and Dr. Ram Lahoti, Deputy CEO, Water and Sanitation, Zilla Parishad Aurangabad have been carrying out extensive ODF verification exercises to study the sanitation situation. Further, Gram Sabhas were held at all Gram Panchayats to identify households that do not have access to sanitation
According to Mr. Satyajeet Dattrao Deshmukh, Monitoring and Evaluation Consultant and District Project Manager, households without toilets are also being identified during house to house visits by district officials.
“About 68,346 toilets are being constructed for all households (new families and floating population) without toilets and we hope to complete all of them soon,” the M&E Consultant said.
In addition, five community toilets are being built at religious places and markets, to cater to the general public and the floating population. Built at a cost of Rs. 2 lakh, each of the community toilets has four units in each – 2 for men and 2 for women and they are free for use. They will be maintained by the Gram Panchayat.
Further, effective solid and liquid waste management (SLWM) projects are being initiated in every Gram Panchayat. The SLWM component of ODF Plus includes four key areas: plastic waste management, bio-degradable solid waste management (including animal waste management), greywater management and fecal sludge management.
Importantly, every GP in the Aurangabad has passed resolutions on toilet usage. To ensure this, Good Morning Pathaks has been formed in many GPs that monitor usage and ensure that no one defecates in the open, even as notices have been issued that penalty will be imposed on those relieving themselves outdoors when they have toilets.