Port Blair, March 30: With the active citizen participation & the efforts of Port Blair Municipal Council, Port Blair city has bagged of ODF++ from MoHUA, GoI.

A Third-Party Inspection (TPI) was conducted by MoHUA after PBMC filed an application for the declaration Open Defecation Free (ODF) ++ status for the city. The declaration of Port Blair as ODF ++ was received through an official communication by the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA) recently.

The journey of Port Blair city from ODF to ODF++ has been long and thorough. With the active support and participation of citizens, finally, it is made into a reality. Among a slew of measures undertaken by PBMC, the Public conveniences including the Toilets and Urinals at Petrol Bunk, Bus Stand, Airport, Parks etc. have been mapped in Google Maps app to enable the Google Toilet locations. All the public conveniences were face-lifted with social awareness messages and the aspirational toilets were facilitated with Sanitary Napkins dispensers, Napkin Incinerators, Green plantations, Signages etc.

In order to treat and manage the Faecal/Septage sludge in scientific manner, efforts are underway. The Faecal and Septage Sludge Management (FSSM) Strategy for Port Blair city authorizes the private players to collect the household septage through cesspool emptier, transport it to the Mobile Faecal Sludge Treatment Plant and disposal by Deep Row Entrenchments method.  The under-construction 42KLD FSTP will add a new dimension to the solid waste management system of the city.

Service Level Benchmarking for various services covering water supply, wastewater and solid waste management (SWM) and storm water drainage, to be achieved over a period of 10 years, have been worked out to guide PBMC in its efforts in future endeavours.

After attaining fulfilment of the compliances for ODF++ mandate, PBMC filed its application at http://swachhodfurban.org.  A Third-Party Inspection (TPI) team of MoHUA i.e. M/s IQVIA undertook the surprise physical inspection in Port Blair city during the month of February 2021 to check the compliance of ODF++ protocols on the ground.

The Third-Party Inspection team of MoHUA inspected a total 26 locations, which included water bodies, Beach, Public Places, Commercial places, residential areas, Urinals, transport Hub, Faecal Sludge Treatment Unit etc. After observing satisfactory compliances of ODF protocols in Port Blair, ODF++ status was officially communicated to PBMC.

The journey of making the Port Blair an ODF city commenced officially after the Clarion Call of Hon’ble Prime Minister of India to completely eradicate Open Defecation. Port Blair City was declared as Open Defecation Free City on 2nd October 2017.

PBMC was declared the city as ODF+ on 23rd of September 2019 for its efforts in upgrading the city sanitation.

Crossing all hurdles with strategic tireless work by PBMC staff and co-operation of the city residents, Port Blair City has been recognised with Open Defecation Free (ODF) ++ status.