India’s largest sanitisation project in its final stage

Nirmal MMR Abhiyan – India’s largest sanitisation project in its final stage

Out of 24,000 toilet seats 19,000 already complete

Mumbai, 31st March, 2010

With intent to provide basic hygiene facilities to the economically weaker section of the society, MMRDA funded “Nirmal MMR Abhiyan” probably the largest urban sanitisation programme to have ever envisaged in the country, is nearing completion.

Started in February 2008, with an aim to improve the health and living conditions of the slum-dwellers in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Nirmal Abhiyan, an Rs 240 crore project by MMRDA, has already constructed so far 19,000 seats out of the allocated 24,000 toilet seats, and the remaining are expected to be completed by May 2010.

“Taking up a project of such a huge scale was a challenge and we are elated to announce that Nirmal Abhiyan is nearing completion. This project is extremely close to us as and will go a long way towards the betterment of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region” said Mr. Ratnakar Gaikwad, Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA.

The biggest undertaking that any governing body has ever taken, MMRDA is providing a financial grant to the urban local bodies to help facilitate this initiative. The Urban Local Bodies are the implementing agencies and with the help of community based organisations or the Self Help Groups eventual take care of the day to day maintenance and functioning with regards to cleanliness, electricity, water supply etc. of these community toilets centres. As a result the resident locals consider these toilet centres as their own and help in keeping a check towards its maintenance.These toilets have been built in only those areas where the local residents had requested for new ones as the previous ones were dilapidated and not in a useable condition.

Nirmal Abhiyan aim’s to provide clean, hygienic community toilets and bathrooms for those living in the slums. The amenities provided in these community toilets are actually exceptional. There will be a provision of 24 hour water and electricity supply. These community toilets are also specifically designed to suit the needs of senior citizens, handicapped, children etc.

Nirmal Abhiyan also boosts employment opportunities, as a 24 hour care taker will be provided to look after each of these centres. The care taker will be a given a monthly salary by the Community Based Organisation or the Self Help Groups.
It also proved to be a major relief to the women as now they have the facility to use separate bathrooms instead of the previous dilapidated toilets which were used by one and all as there was no demarcation.

Sample this. In Thane, there were just about 50 toilets seats for the user population of 3500 whereas the actual requirement was of around 100 toilet seats. This situation used to give rise to people defecating on the streets, railway tracks etc which also compromised the health issues of these people as they were more prone to contract diseases due to the unhygienic environment.

With the construction of new community toilets, these issues were resolved and as per the requirement of the area, the numbers of toilet seats were thus allocated. The range of number of toilet seats varies between 10 and 100 as per the requirements of each area.

It is mandatory for each urban local body to address the hygiene issues of their respective localities. Now with the funding received from MMRDA, the urban local bodies would not have to bear the cost of building these community toilets on their own for the coming 30 years as these community toilets are built taking into consideration the increasing population of the respective localities. The money saved can be used for implementing various other projects catering to other needs of the people.

The project in line with national policy of ‘Nirmal Bharat’ intends to benefit the people staying in the slums of five municipal corporations and 13 municipal councils in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. This project received immense support of the local bodies and corporators.

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