India’s urban population has sharply increased from 19.9% in 1971 to 31.2% in 2011. This unprecedented growth, along with high economic growth, has resulted in a severe challenge for Urban India, in terms of addressing the incremental infrastructural needs of a fast-growing urban population. One of the major challenges arising out of increased migration of the populace from rural areas to cities and towns in search of an improved quality of life has been the issue of access to sanitary facilities, and the attendant menace of open defecation, especially in areas housing economically weaker sections of society, where Open Defecation spots are more likely to be found. The Swachh Bharat Mission – Urban aims to fulfil the objective of 100% Open Defecation Free status in all Urban Local Bodies in the country by October 2019. This will entail providing access to toilet facilities (i.e. construction of sanitary latrines – individual household toilets, community and public toilets).
With urban areas of 34 states and more than 4100 cities already certified ODF, and 100% of toilet construction targets (for Individual toilets as well as community/ public toilets) met, the mission objectives have been fulfilled.
In order to sustain the ODF outcomes and address the challenge of holistic sanitation, MoHUA launched the ODF+ and ODF++ protocols, focusing on functionality and proper maintenance of community / public toilets, and addressing safe management of faecal sludge from toilets, and ensuring that no untreated sludge is discharged into open drains, water bodies or in the open.
As on date 684 cities have been certified as ODF+ and 284 cities have been certified as ODF++.