Berhampur, August 26 (LocalWire): After being certified as the open defecation free (ODF) city, Berhampur has another reason to cheer: it is likely to become the first city in Odisha to attain the ODF++ status.

The two-member third party auditor (TPA) sent by the central government that conducted the audit early this month has recommended ODF ++ status for the city, sources at the Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BeMC) said, adding that it is the second phase of the ODF programme.

“The ministry issues the certificate of ODF++ as per the recommendation of the TPA. Since the third party has sent positive feedback and recommendation, we expected the government to accord BeMC the ODF ++ status soon,” commissioner of the civic body Chakravarti Singh Rathore said.

BeMC was declared as an ODF city on 2 October 2018, while the certificate in this regard was granted in the month of January.

A city can be notified as Swachha Bharat Mission ODF++ if the central team does not find any defecation or urinating in the urban area during their inspection.

The certificate also confirms that community and public toilets are functional and well maintained.

It is also important that faecal sludge or septage should be safely managed and treated with no discharge or dumping of untreated faecal sludge and sewerage in drains, water bodies or open space, sources said.

According to the BeMC commissioner, the civic authority has set up 60 public and community toilet complexes in the city, of which 40 are managed by the women self-help groups (SHG).

Similarly, the civic body set up around 30 urinals in 13 different locations and a 40,000-kg per day faecal sludge treatment plant at Mahuda at the outskirt of the city.

The BeMC also launched an awareness campaign Malasura to promote good practice of faecal management by involving the women SHG members. An agreement was signed with city level federation, consisting 700 plus SHGs for promotion and placement of cesspool order, he informed.

Besides, the civic body also launched a cleanliness drive with the provision of imposing Rs 10 penalty for open urination.

During the three day visit of the central team, its members had inspected the functioning of public and community toilets, sludge treatment plant and interacted with the people from 31 July to 2 August, sources disclosed.