What are the components of the new framework proposed by the government to sustain 100 per cent ODF status?
The Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation under the Union Jal Shakti Ministry has launched a 10-year national rural sanitation strategy to sustain India’s 100 per cent Open Defecation Free (ODF) status claimed by the Centre.
National Rural Sanitation Strategy
- The framework which will be in place from 2019 to 2029 aims to ensure that people sustain their usage of toilets.
- The strategy focuses on the proper implementation of solid and liquid waste management (SLWM) — plastic waste, organic waste, greywater, and faecal sludge — in rural areas.
- The steps the government intends to take under the framework include the retrofitting of single pit toilets to twin pits or making provisions to empty pits every five years, repair of defunct ones, and construction of soak pits for septic tanks wherever not already present.
- The strategy proposes setting up of district-level training management unit (TMU) to provide oversight and support to gram panchayats (GPs) so that they ensure the operation and maintenance of sanitation infrastructure. The GPs would also be supposed to conduct a rapid assessment of water and sanitation gaps.
- To sustain the gains made under the mission and to ensure that the health and hygiene benefits continue to be realised, the Ministry will concentrate over four broad areas in the next ten years biodegradable and organic waste (kitchen and green waste), plastics, greywater management and black water or faecal sludge management.
- The strategy also involves sanitation coverage of public spaces, which will involve the construction of community toilets as well as community sanitary complexes in gram panchayats to cover the needs of the floating population and large congregations in gram panchayats such as melas/tourist places/religious places.
While the main thrust of the strategy is continuing the construction and maintenance of toilets for rural households, the ministry wants to take the Swacch Bharat Mission a step further and focus on wastewater and solid waste treatment at the village and panchayat level in phase II.