Mumbai: In a significant decision, the Maharashtra government on Tuesday made domestic toilets compulsory for all those aspiring to get elected to municipal corporations, councils and panchayats.
This has already been implemented at the village level for contesting local bodies elections, under the Centre's Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and the state's Swachh Maharashtra Abhiyan.
The move has been initiated by making suitable amendments to the civic acts pertaining to corporations, councils and panchayats to ensure that those planning to contest elections had provision for toilets in their homes.
The decision was announced after a meeting of the state cabinet here presided over by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Under the two cleanliness missions, an important component is to make toilets available for each family and thus to do away with the practice of defecating in the open.
According to the 2011 census, the urban population in Maharashtra stood at around 58 million (5.8 crore) which comprise 18 million (1.8 crore) families.
Of these, around 8 percent -- or 832,000 families -- lack proper toilet facilities in their homes.
However, with a view to completely end defecating in the open in cities by October 2, 2017, the state government has already initiated 'mission mode' in 366 urban centres, officials said.
For the success of the missions, the role of elected representatives is considered crucial and hence it is imperative that they (people's representatives) must first have toilet facilities at their homes, they said.