Sun, Dec 11, 2016 | updated 05:26 PM IST

QCI awards ODF certificates to 20 institutions in Gujarat, Karnataka, AP and Telangana

Updated: Sep 28, 2016 15:34 IST

New Delhi [India], Sept.28 (ANI): The Quality Council of India (QCI) has awarded open defecation free (ODF) certitifcates to 20 urban local bodies in Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

In a media release, the QCI said that it had conducted stringent inspections and that led to Ministry of Urban Development declaring the following urban local bodies to be open defecation free -

· Telangana (5 ULBs): Suryapet, Shadnagar, Siddipet, Achampet, Huzurnagar

· Andhra Pradesh (1 ULB): Vijaywada

· Gujarat (11 ULBs): Kadodra, Mandvi (Surat), Shahera, Vallabh Vidhyanagar, Bareja, Kadi, Mansa, Rapar, Mandvi (Kutch), Salaya, Vanthli

· Karnataka (3 ULBs): Mysore, Udupi, and Mangalore

Keeping up with the celebrations of "Swachhta Saptah", the above mentioned urban local bodies have been awarded the Swachhata Certificates by QCI over the course of this week.

Adil Zainulbhai, Chairman, Quality Council of India, said "Being open defecation free (ODF) is the first step towards making India Swachh. Swachhta certificates recognise the tremendous efforts by citizens and the civic authorities who worked tirelessly to achieve ODF status. Many ULBs had to be inspected several times before they met the rigorous standards. This is a huge morale booster for the citizens and the civic authorities and for India as a whole. The continuous evaluation nature of the Swachhta certificate ensures accountability and benchmarks the progress of all cities, pushing them to continuously improve and keep the spirit of the Swachh Bharat Mission alive."

Dr. R P Singh, Secretary General at QCI, said "I want to congratulate all the cities who are being awarded the Swachhta certificate and those who are making steady progress in this direction. Quality Council of India adopts a robust, transparent process in declaring any city as Open Defecation Free. As a partner in Swachh Bharat Mission, QCI adopts an independent stance and ensures a fair assessment of the initiative's progress."

For a city to declare itself as Open Defecation Free (ODF) and receive this prestigious Swachhata Certificate, a very robust process was adopted.

A city has to adhere to all the necessary conditions on infrastructure and regulations. Along with the declaration from the ward councillors, a declaration from the head of every school is undertaken that the school has required infrastructure.

The school also has to ensure that their staff and students along with their family members use a toilet at their home or a community toilet for defecation.

Post the declarations by the ward councillors, head of every school, self-help groups, the same were sent to the Mayor or the Chairperson who then made a self-declaration.

Thereon, a third party inspection by QCI was conducted. Based on the result of the assessment, QCI declared the city to be Open Defecation Free.

Moreover, QCI conducted a two pronged validation for each city to access the ODF status. First, was the validation of documents wherein a senior surveyor visited the ULB office to check all the declarations that were obtained during the protocol.

Apart from this, QCI also looked at construction of public/community toilets built during the last few years, action plan and result of any survey conducted for construction of toilets, and also campaigns run by the municipality for increasing the awareness about the Swachh Bharat Mission and about Open defecation in particular.

Second is direct observation that included visit to select slums residential areas, schools, commercial areas, railway stations/ railway tracks/bus stands/water bodies randomly by one or two surveyors.

In addition to taking photographs and videos of the sites with date and time stamp, the surveyors even interacted with the local population collect citizen feedback. The findings were then reviewed and assessed.

Since, such a stringent process has been followed for assessing the cities on open defecation status, less than 70 percent of the cities assessed so far have been declared to be ODF. (ANI)