Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes
Swachh Bharat Mission was launched on 2nd Oct, 2014. It aims at making India clean by October 2, 2019 with a two-fold objective:
Making the country 100% free from open defecation
Ensuring 100% modern and scientific municipal solid waste management.
The Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) has two sub-missions – SBM (Rural) and SBM (Urban). The SBM is in sync with the Goal 6 of the Sustainable Development Goals which commits the countries of the world to achieve universal access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation and hygiene to all in the next 15 years.
Components of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan:
Construction of household and community toilets.
Door to door garbage collection.
Eradicating manual scavenging.
Proper and scientific disposal of municipal waste, waste management and treatment.
Bringing in behavioural changes and awareness generation.
Progress under Swachh Bharat Mission:
Construction of toilets:
The priority was given to the construction of toilets at individual households and if there was no space available the community toilets were provided. Public toilets were constructed at public spaces like railway stations and bus stations. Above the Central assistance of Rs 4,000 per construction of each toilet in urban areas, 13 states are providing additional assistance in the range of Rs 4,000 to Rs 13,000.
Solid Waste Management:
Solid waste management includes segregating waste at source; collecting, transporting and storing waste; as well as processing, treating and finally disposing of it.
In urban areas there has been progress in door to door waste collection. Transportation and processing of waste is also taking place at faster pace compared to previous year. There has been an increase in the number of compost plants from 40 to 145.
Waste Management: Waste to Energy:
The Ministry of Fertilizers provides Rs 1500 for market development assistance for per ton of compost generated. For conversation of waste to energy, the Ministry of Power has made it mandatory that the power generated from waste to energy plants has to be purchased by the state DISCOMs.
This is a very important segment to make the progress sustainable. Apart from approaching through celebrities, the government has established swachhata doot (community volunteer), engaging community organisations, engaging local celebrities and those people who are having respect among the people, NGOs and media. The impact of poor sanitation is being disseminated to people in an organised manner. Through NGOs, women Self Help Groups (SHGs), advertisements through print and visual media the information is spread to the people about the importance of using the toilets to sustain the efforts of eliminating open defecation.
However, Information, education and communication (IEC) is not being paid adequate attention. The guidelines require that 8% of the funds be allocated for IEC activities. During the 2016-’17 financial year, 1% of the total expenditure had been made on information, education and communication up to January according to a survey. In contrast, 98% of the funds had been spent on construction of toilets in individual households.
It is an initiative launched by Ministry of Urban Development through which the government is bringing competition among cities towards creating cleaner cities and towns. The cities are ranked on the basis of various parameters. The objective of the survey is to encourage large scale citizen participation and create awareness amongst all sections of society about the importance of working together towards making towns and cities a better place to live in.
‘Swachh Suvekshan-2017’ was done to assess and rank 500 cities and towns based on levels of sanitation and efforts made by respective urban local bodies and also to capture progress towards achieving ‘Open Defecation Free’ status.
Looking beyond sanitation:
Not just in terms of toilet construction but also into issues of sustainability of toilets, equity in access to drinking water across social categories, gender and culture. Of the households with a latrine which had at least one member of the family defecating in the open, the most common reasons cited were absence of water and the pit being too small.
The allocations for rural water – specifically the NRDWP (National Rural Drinking Water Programme) – have remained almost stagnant (Rs 6,000 crore in 2016-17 RE to Rs 6,050 crore in 2017-18 BE).
This could have serious consequences, especially in view of the fact that the recent drought situation in the country, has exacerbated the drinking water crisis and has even led to slip-backs in toilet usage.
What needs to be done for making urban areas clean/swachh?
An integrated solid waste management policy for each city.
Supporting the nationwide effort for waste reduction and implementation of a waste diversion policy in accordance with MoEFCC SWM 2016 Rules.
Designate areas as transit points for different waste streams.
Set up channel of distribution of organic manure.
Partner RWA’s, schools, hospitals ,NGO’s and CBO’s for outreach awareness programmes.
Designate green belts for horticulture waste management.
Set up drop off centres for e-waste and hazardous waste in each ward.
Create more recycling stations/centres and engage authorised recyclers.
Set up of Construction And Demolition Waste plant.
Restrict illegal and indiscriminate dumping of construction debris.
According to the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDWS), sanitation coverage has gone up from 42 percent in October 2014 to 60 percent in 2017. As per MWDS, three states – Kerala, Himachal Pradesh and Sikkim – 85 districts across the country and 1,52,535 villages have already been declared open defecation free (ODF). These achievements have clearly contributed to making sanitation a political priority. Importantly, the mission is running in a time-bound manner with a clear deadline to achieve the above objectives.
As per World Bank report, per person in the country spends around 6500 rupees per year on health issues. If this amount is invested on sanitation, this will help to increase the productivity of people in particular and the nation at large. With almost two-and-half years after the SBA’s launch, we are moving in right direction but many more steps would be required for the country to become ‘swachh’ and fulfill the dream of a Clean India.
Connecting the dots:
It has been two years since the launch of an ambitious programme Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Discuss the progress, achievements as well as the challenges in its implementation. Also mention what more needs to be done to achieve the goal of making India clean by 2019.