Speaking on Mahatma Gandhi’s 148th birth anniversary in Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked citizens for increased participation to help realise the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan goals. The Clean India Mission is one of the most widely promoted programmes of the Modi-led NDA government. Exactly three years after the scheme was launched in 2014, we take a look at the progress made under the program.
The program is divided into Swachh Bharat Urban (SBM-U) and Swachh Bharat Gramin (SBM-G). The urban part of the program is handled by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs as the nodal ministry. The rural part is under the Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. The primary task of constructing toilets is done either by the individuals with funding help from the government or the government–this is done mostly in case of public toilets. As and when individual units are completed, photographs and details are submitted to the government that updates latest available data on a daily basis on the websites of concerned nodal ministries. The data for SBM-U is sourced from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. Similarly, the data for SBM-G is sourced from Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban
At the time of writing, under SBM-U, the government had helped construction of 3,074,229 individual toilets and 226,274 public and community toilets. As per the government data, 1,150 cities have been declared open defecation free since October 2, 2014. The 100 per cent door-to-door waste collection coverage has been reported from 44,650 wards. Currently 88.4 MW energy is being created from waste materials in urban areas. In the year 2016, as much as 164,891.6 metric tons of compost was produced from waste materials.
The three-year cumulative target till end of 2017-18 under SBM-U is 95 lakh individual toilets with a overall program target of 1.04 crore units. For public and community toilets, the cumulative figure is for 5.08 lakh units which is also the overall target. Also, scientific solid waste management set up has to reach 4,000 villages by end of this year.
Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin (rural)
Under SBM-G, 49,906,655 toilets have been constructed. In 2017-18, 10,280,236 toilets have been built. Since the initiative was launched, there has been an increase of 30.52 per cent in number of households with toilets in rural areas. Under self declarations to SBM-G authorities, 214 districts have been declared as ODF. As many as 113,514 gram panchayats and 257,259 villages have declared being ODF. According to official figures, on October 2, 2014 coverage for rural areas was 38.7% but it has increased to 69.22% by 2017-18.
The overall target for SBM-G is constructing 111.1 million toilets by 2019–the year set by the government to make India ODF. States like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are lagging behind miserably. The coverage for individual household toilets is 32.43% in Bihar, 36.37% in Jammu and Kashmir, 43.15% in Odisha and 50.78% in Uttar Pradesh.
The idea of Swachh Survekshan is to promote competition between cities to be ranked as high as possible in the list of cleanest cities in India. In the first survey carried out in 2016, QCI assessed and ranked 73 cities. In 2017, the survey, assessment and ranking will be done for 500 cities. Till now, more than 7.5 lakh citizens have participated in the cleanliness survey and 12,200 locations have been assessed by at least 420 surveyors. The head of the QCI who oversees the operation is appointed directly by the prime minister hence this is also one of the more closely handled programs of PM Modi.
The survey is done in phases–data collection from municipal bodies, via direct observations and independent assessment; direct citizen feedback and finally ranking on cumulative scores. The parameters for evaluation are ODF/toilets, waste processing and disposal; waste collection, sweeping and transportation; information, education and behaviour change; and capacity building.
In more novel initiatives, the Ministry of Urban Development had released an app called the Swachh Bharat Toilet Locator which has a Google toilet locator service. The app provides directions and distance to the nearest public toilet. Searches produce gender specific results and an option to rank the installations on the app. The installations which receive poor ratings are the first to be addressed. Although the initiative didn’t take off as expected but this was the first of its kind service in India.
According to coverage statistics with the Centre, Uttarakhand, Chandigarh, Sikkim, Kerala, Gujarat, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh have been declared as ODF states.