GUNTUR: Guntur has become the first city to get Open Defecation-Free tag in Amaravati capital region. The Union government and Swachch Bharat Mission presented the ODF city certificate to Guntur Municipal Corporation.
However, the residents are demanding an end to the problem of overflowing drains and closure of open drains to switch the district headquarters into a Smart City. A major part of the Guntur city is inundated during rains and floods.
The absence of an underground drainage system and poorly built outfall drains are the main cause of inundation.
Guntur citizens believe that UGD and modernisation of outfall drains will save the city from inundation every time it rains. Construction of 7,160 individual household latrines and e-toilets have helped end the problem in Guntur.
There are about 180 slums in the city and open defaecation was identified in 18 of these. The GMC promoted individual toilets to end the menace. The GMC had constructed 7,160 toilets to meet the needs of 30,000 people who used to defaecate openly.
The Swachch Andhra Mission selected Guntur city to implement the pilot project following which the GMC conducted a survey and decided to build toilets in 7,160 houses in the first phase of Individual Household Toilets scheme.
Besides promoting toilets, the GMC also ensured water supply to ODF targeted areas of the city which gave good results. GMC officials said that the people of 18 localities used to go to open places, including burial grounds to answer nature’s calls. Ironically some used the drains for defaecations.
The officials said that Rs 15,000 per toilet was sanctioned to each beneficiary and further provided public water taps which turned the open defecation areas into ODF localities.
Residents of Gorantla said that the open drains were resulting in open defaecation and urination. They said that the city turns into a group of ponds during rains.