ALSO READFrom UP village to Rashtrapati Bhavan: Prez-elect Kovind's journey Ram Nath Kovind promises to keep office of President above party politics Kovind to be the next President of India: greetings pour in on Twitter Ram Nath Kovind's journey from mud house to Rashtrapati Bhavan Ram Nath Kovind sworn in as President, pledges to uphold Constitution
"Declaration of urban Maharashtra Open Defecation Free is not just a formality. A three-tier validation process had been adopted where the cities, which became ODF were first inspected by the local administration, then by the state government and lastly a central agency gave its nod," Fadnavis said.
He added that making the state ODF will not achieve its objectives until the mindset of people changes.
"Now we have a double responsibility at hand. We have to encourage people to use the record number of toilets created in the last two years," he said.
"We have installed a mechanism called 'ODF Watch' where people will be forced, encouraged to use a toilet. If they defecate in the open, a whistle will be blown and people will be shamed for not using a toilet," he said.
He said the mechanism will work from morning until the dusk for the next six months, to ensure people use a toilet.
Fadnavis added a record number of 40 lakh toilets have been constructed in the state in the last two years.
The chief minister said by March next year, rural Maharashtra too will be declared ODF.
He said the government will also focus on segregation of waste scientifically and treat sewage water.
"We have formed a brand by the name 'Mahacity compost', where the compost from city waste is marketed among farmers. This provides good quality compost manure. Only if the quality of compost is good, does it get sold under the brand," Fadnavis said.
Maharashtra Rural Development Minister Pankaja Munde, who was also present on the occasion, said when the present government took over, the state had 44 per cent toilets and the number has now gone up to 88 per cent.
She exuded confidence that there will be 100 per cent toilets soon.
"We want people to use the toilets, not just construct them. We have made the children pledge for cleanliness in district and rural schools," she said.
Munde added that her department is working on a 'zero pendency policy', where there is no clogging of files due to bureaucratic delays.