576 fined for defecating in open

In December 2016, Mumbai was announced ODF by the Centre.

Mumbai: Despite various measures undertaken by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to ensure the city is open defecation free (ODF), people are still found defecating in the open. The ‘Good Morning’ squads, formed recently by the civic body, have collected fines worth Rs 57,600 from 576 people for open defecation in the last fortnight.

To dissuade people from relieving in the open, the BMC has formed 36 ‘Good Morning’ squads of 180 employees, each having five members. Of them, 33 squads are working on the ward level, whereas the remaining three have been appointed to monitor their work in the island city, eastern and western suburbs. These teams have been asked to not only monitor areas where open defecation is still prevalent, but also check whether residents have access to toilets.

“To make the city ODF, the BMC has made available public toilets in large numbers at places where people are defecating in the open. These teams start operating in their wards early in the morning from 5.30 am. In case, these teams find people who despite access to an existing toilet facility were relieving themselves in the open, they have given the right to penalise them on the spot,” said a senior civic official.

In December 2016, Mumbai was announced ODF by the Centre. Six months later in June, it was issued another ‘Swachhata Certificate’ certifying that the city is ODF. The certificate will be valid for six months.

According to civic officials, there are 8,415 toilets in the city with 80,000 seats. In addition to this, new toilets having 4,257 seats have been constructed since January this year.

The civic body has also provided 800 temporary toilets at places where the toilet construction is going on.

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