The Maharashtra government has decided to form ‘good morning’ squads to monitor and prevent open defecation in villages and districts across the state. These squads will comprise representatives of local bodies, self-help groups, NGOs, students and social workers working in the area of sanitation and cleanliness.

A government resolution issued on Friday said these squads have been asked to keep an eye on the areas where this practice is prevalent and to ensure that locals have access to toilets there.

 They will inform the civic bodies about areas where people are being denied access to toilets. They also have the right to take up issues, such as the pending construction of toilets, with the local civic bodies and help speed up the work. “If the team finds people who, despite having access to toilets, relieve themselves in the open, it will impose heavy fines on them,” reads the resolution.

Open defecation and dumping of waste on the Yamuna floodplains will now attract a fine of Rs 5,000 for each incident, the National Green Tribunal ruled today.

“We issue prohibitory orders in furtherance to the judgement dated January 13, 2015 that no waste of any kind and open defecation will be permitted around the water bodies and the floodplains of river Yamuna.

“Authorities including the police shall take stringent action against defaulting persons and every defaulter would be liable to pay an environment compensation of Rs 5,000 per incident,” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.

The NGT, which passed a slew of directions, constituted a committee headed by the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) CEO to oversee the execution of work pertaining to the cleaning of Yamuna and construction of sewage treatment plant to treat liquid waste flowing into the river.