Budget 2018: Centre Focuses On Swachh Bharat; States Need To Gear Up
The Swachh Bharat Mission is garnering speed with a special mention in the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's Budget Speech. The finance minister focussed on furthering it the Indian states. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley declared that the government has plans to build two crore new toilets. The target under the mission is to make the country Open-Defecation Free by October 2, 2019, which also marks the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
Linking the mission to liveability and dignity of lifestyle, Jaitley said, “Swachh Bharat Mission has benefited the poor. Under this mission, Government has already constructed more than six crore toilets. The positive effect of these toilets is being seen on the dignity of ladies, education of girls and the overall health of the family. Government is planning to construct around two crore toilets.”
Keeping it open-ended and without providing a timeline the FM also mentioned a scheme called Gobar-Dhan which would help farmers effectively opt for solid waste management. “We will launch a Scheme called Galvanizing Organic Bio-Agro Resources Dhan (GOBAR-DHAN) for management and conversion of cattle dung and solid waste in farms to compost, fertilizer, bio-gas and bio-CNG.”
Reality on ground
As per the official website, so far 4,272,609 household toilets have been constructed while 2,43,152 community or public toilets have been built. Further 21, 367 swachhagrahis have been identified where these public toilets have to be built across 379 districts of the 28 Indian states. About 55,913 wards across India today boast of the door-to-door waste collection.
Union Minister, Rao Inderjit Singh says, "If making a city open defecation free is a challenge, sustaining it is an even bigger challenge. It is heartening to see that cities have shown resolve by collaborating with the citizens in making cities Open Defecation Free. I am glad that Swachh Bharat Mission is being integrated with other schemes such as AMRUT and Smart Cities I appeal to all the cities to make ODF a sustainable practice."
However, here is the bad news. Goa, Bihar and Manipur are the only three states where none of the districts are ODF. In states like Orissa, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Pondicherry fair poorly in the list although they still boast a few districts that are in tune with the Swachh Bharat Mission. The good news is that states like Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Kerala and Union territories like Chandigarh and Daman and Diu boast next to 100 per cent ODF status which is a big win for the Centre and the authorities.
Overall in the Swachh Survekshan list of 2017, Indore, Bhopal, Vishakhapatnam, Surat, Mysuru, Tiruchirapalli, NDMC, Navi Mumbai, Tirupati and Vadodara have been the top scorers.
With inputs from Housing News