'Open defecation free' status of villages to be verified by state governments

Seetha Gopalakrishnan
Monday, September 21, 2015 - 09:29
'Open defecation free' status of villages to be verified by state governments
In a bid to take the Swachh Bharat’s sustainability quotient a step higher, the centre has asked state governments to verify the ‘Open Defecation Free (ODF) status’ of villages periodically. The Ministry goes on to suggest that granting ODF status should not be regarded as a one-time-process and verifications are necessary to ensure that the villages remain so.
Hyderabad's groundwater turns toxic due to nitrate seepage from improperly designed septic tanks
Though the recent rains augmented Hyderabad's groundwater reserves, a study conducted by the Central Groundwater Board has revealed that the water underground contains harmful chemicals and nitrates beyond the permissible limits. The main culprit behind this has been found to be improperly designed septic tanks which let the contents seep into the ground surrounding them. 
Public toilets to resemble heritage structures in Mysuru
The Mysuru City Corporation plans to incorporate heritage design to public toilets to make them more attractive and bring down people’s aversion towards public latrines. Rs 2.5 Crore has been set aside for the project and 10 public toilets would initially be chosen for the make-over. 
Rameswaram Railway station will soon house a lab to test the efficiency of bio-toilets in trains
A laboratory will soon come up at the Rameswaram Railway Station to test the efficiency of bio-toilets fitted to trains operating from there.The Ministry of Railways had earlier identified Rameswaram, Porbandar, Okha, and Katra for developing them as green stations. The overall aim of such a move is to achieve zero waste discharge from all trains that originate and end in these four stations. 
Many of the proposed 'Smart Cities' found to have very low sanitation and cleanliness rankings
Many cities chosen for improvements under various flagship urban development initiatives of the Government are found to be seriously lagging behind in terms of sanitation and hygiene. Reflecting this concern, only three of the 98 ‘Smart City’ hopefuls are among the top ten clean cities according to a recently published survey. This seems to be common to cities, both small and large, selected for development under different schemes such as the HRIDAY and AMRUT. 
Polluted waters of the Asi nullah to be treated before its joins the Ganga: STP planned at the confluence
Soon, the confluence of River Ganga and the Asi nullah will house a Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) to treat the polluted waters of the latter before it joins the mighty Ganges. A Sewage Pumping Station was earlier constructed at the spot in 2011 but could not become operational due to delays in the construction of an STP at Ramna.  
A roundup of important sanitation related news between September 13 and 19, 2015