Phasing of outcomes
The MDGs enjoin upon signatory nations to extend access to improved sanitation to at least half the urban population by 2015, and 100% access by 2025. This implies extending improved sanitation coverage to the un-served households and providing proper sanitation facilities in public places; for making cities open-defecation free. The National Urban Sanitation Policy (2008) envisions that all Indian cities become totally sanitized, healthy and livable; ensure and sustain good public health and environmental outcomes for all their citizens with a special focus on hygienic and affordable sanitation facilities for the urban poor and women.
Odisha has the lowest level of urbanisation (nearly 15 per cent of the state population of 37 million) amongst the major states in India. There is significant inter-district variation with Khurda district in coastal Odisha reporting an urbanisation rate of 43 per cent at one end of the spectrum and Boudh in south-central Odisha, having an urbanisation rate of only 5 per cent at the other. Urban Odisha population comprises of 13 per cent SC population (12 per cent of the state total) and eight per cent ST population (6 per cent of state total). Over the period 1991-2001, urban population has grown nearly twice than the state population. However, starting from a low base of urbanisation, while these rates appear high; the challenges posed by absolute numbers do seem manageable.
The urban sanitation scenario is a cause for concern - 40% of urban households in the state do not have access to a latrine, another 11% of households have to share latrines with others (NFHS 2006). The level of access to sanitation is even lower in the slum settlements of the urban areas.
The impact of unsafe sanitation conditions and behaviour are immense that adversely affect the urban poor, women and children. Besides poverty, lack of tenure, housing and environmental conditions in slum etc., constrains the urban poor households from gaining access to safe sanitation.
The new thrust areas such as devolution of governance as well as civic functions to Urban Local Bodies, urban development and renewal, and tackling sanitation in a more integrated and comprehensive manner, make it imperative for the state government to set forth a strategy to address the different aspects of sanitation management – tackling both liquid and solid waste - in a systematic, coordinated and time-bound manner.