Swachh Bharat: Long Road Ahead For Odisha, Bihar, UP
The Swachh Bharat Mission may be garnering speed in Uttar Pradesh. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed all the district magistrates across the state to make sure that Uttar Pradesh is Open Defecation Free (ODF) by Gandhi Jayanti on October 2 this year. He also reiterated that all the necessary funds have already been sanctioned and hereafter the mission should see officials pulling up illegal abattoirs and strict action against those guilty.
This also brings to mind Finance Mininster Arun Jaitley’s speech wherein he said that by October 2, 2019, India on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th anniversary should also don the tag of being fully ODF. So far, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Kerala and Union territories like Chandigarh and Daman and Diu boast next to 100 per cent ODF status. In fact, the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation on its official website says that 17 states and union teritorries have already been declared ODF and there are 399 ODF districts.
Will Uttar Pradesh make it to the list soon? The ministry’s website also suggests that Odisha, Bihar, Tripura, Goa and Uttar Pradesh are among the worst when it comes to ODF.
Linking the mission to liveability and dignity of lifestyle, Jaitley had 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, between 2014 and now, over 7.63 crore household toilets have already 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."
As per the lastest Swachh Survekshan 2018 report, 1.13 crore complaints have been resolved. Indore, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Vijaywada, Ghaziabad, Kota, Nagpur and Navi Mumbai are among the top cities in the category of cities with over 10 lakh population.
Among small cities with population ranging between 3 lakh to 10 lakh, Mysuru, Bhiwandi, Parbhani, Aligarh and Mangalore are among the top cities.
In terms of cities with still smaller population, that is between 1 lakh to 3 lakh, New Delhi, Bhusawal, Girdih, Ambikapur and Tirupati have emerged winners.
There surely is a long way to go.