West Bengal's Purulia only town yet to achieve ODF status: Urban affairs ministry

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West Bengal's Purulia only town yet to achieve ODF status: Urban affairs ministry
© Provided by The Times of India

NEW DELHI: Purulia in West Bengal is the only urban area (statutory town), which is yet to achieve the “Open-defecation-free (ODF) status” in the country even as the Centre has rolled out the second phase of Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) to make areas falling under Urban Local Bodies garbage free in five years. Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Wednesday launched the operational guidelines for SBM 2.0 and Amrut 2.0.

Union housing and urban affairs secretary Durga Shankar Mishra said Purulia remains the only exception to join the ODF club whereas many other urban areas are improving their status to ODF+ and ODF++. He also said by 2025-26, the central government aims to clear 15,000 acres, which is equivalent to 16 sq km of land, which is under legacy landfill.

“In the last 5-6 years, we have cleared around 3,500 acres or 12 sq km area, which were used for landfill. We have made good progress on processing municipal solid waste. We will achieve the target set by the PM,” Mishra said.

He claimed while the total quantity of municipal solid waste processed was barely 26,000 tonnes in 2014, now it has touched 98,000 tonnes. The daily generation of municipal solid waste is estimated around 1.37 lakh tonnes.

Earlier speaking on the occasion, Puri said the second phases of both SBM and Amrut are set to transform the country into a real “swachh” country. “The Amrut mission was earlier covering only 500 cities, and the same will now expand to all the cities. The scheme will not only provide tap-water connections but will also help in realisation of the real value of water,” he said.

The urban local bodies, which will go for reforms such as bringing down the share of non-revenue water to only 20%, set up charging stations for electric vehicles, notification of property tax and user charges, rejuvenation of water bodies and rain-water harvesting in all institutional buildings, will get incentives from the central government under the Amrut mission.

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