VISAKHAPATNAM: The government has extended the deadline for the GVMC to make the city open-defecation free (ODF) to October 2. Although it could not meet the earlier deadline of August 31, measures are being taken to curb the menace and to make the city a much cleaner place.
“Hundred-plus ODF spots have been identified in the city and an action plan has been prepared to address the issue by September-end. Seventy per cent works have been completed to provide people with individual, public and community toilets. With more accessibility to toilets, open defecation will be reduced,” GVMC commissioner M Hari Narayanan told Express.
Chilakapeta: The success story
Chilakapeta has set an example for people to learn and prove that targets can be achieved through teamwork. By sensitising the people of Chilakapeta, the area which had been plagued by open defecation has now transformed into an area which is free of open defecation.
This was achieved with the joint efforts of Shirin Rehman, a Swacch Bharat ambassador and president of Chaitanya sravanthi, volunteers of the area and the GVMC. “To continue the practice of using individual toilets and to maintain cleanliness, we make sure to educate the slum-dwellers of the area every Saturday,” said Shirin.
Hilly area: Still problematic
After receiving many complaints from the people residing near Daspalla Hills, the GVMC authorities have made sure to take action. People cannot walk through the streets and the commuters plying on the road near Daspalla Hills cannot bear the stench. The commissioner said, “The bushes on the hills near the Circuit House have been cleared to check the menace.”
Jalaripeta: Behavioural change needed
Since fishermen are habituated to defecate near the sea, creating awareness on the spread of diseases would curb the menace. “The women of Jalaripeta have been roped in to educate the people of their locality,” said Shirin Rehman. Appreciating the efforts of the SHGs and the various federations working to make Vizag a cleaner city, Hari Narayanan said: “The best solution is to bring in behavioural change and to encourage the fishermen of the area to use toilets.”
Kobbari Thota: A long way to go
Although open defecation has been controlled to a large extent, there needs to be a check as sometimes people do not take it seriously considering that there is no one to check.