In what could derail the Narendra Modi government’s much hyped Swachh Bharat Mission, an internal assessment by the urban development (UD) ministry has found that in urban areas, as many as 14 states and union territories are yet to start construction of toilets.
The programme was launched with much fanfare in October 2014 and envisages making India open-defecation free by 2019.
Besides Bihar and West Bengal, the other states that are yet to start building household and community toilets include Assam, Jharkhand, Kerala, Tripura, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Lakshadweep, Meghalaya and Nagaland.
This is despite the fact that the Centre had released the first tranche of funds as part of its share to these states for building toilets.
Bihar has been given Rs 8.14 crore out of the total grant of Rs 37 crore while West Bengal has got Rs 21 crore out of a total of Rs 64 crore. The no-show by these states has now prompted UD minister M Venkaiah Naidu to direct ministry officials to find out the reason for these states lagging behind.
Moreover, ten states, including Bihar, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Assam and Jharkhand among others are still to start processing solid waste, another crucial component of the programme.
Swachh Bharat Mission’s targets in urban areas include construction of 1.04 crore individual household toilets, over five lakh community and public toilet seats and 100% door-to-door collection of solid waste, its transportation and disposal, to be achieved by the year 2019.
The mission in urban areas is being implemented at a cost of Rs 62,009 crore.
So far, 4.35 lakh toilets have been constructed in urban areas till July.
Besides, 22,419 toilet seats were made available and the number of municipal wards reporting 100% door-to-door collection of municipal solid waste was also on the rise.
Delhi has reported waste generation of 8,590 tonnes per day and processed 52% of it during the last month as against the target of 75% for March next year.