The centre will spend a whopping Rs. 1.34 lakh crore over five years, with each village panchayat getting Rs. 20 lakh per year to achieve Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s target of a clean India by 2019.
Union minister of rural development, drinking water and sanitation, Nitin Gadkari, made the announcement on Thursday, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The money, the minister said, will be used to build over 11 crore toilets in the country. Seeking the support of sarpanches, teachers and students in nearly 2.5 lakh gram panchayats, Gadkari said it will be the discretion of the panchayats how to spend the money on sanitation.
With the formal launch of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, curtains come down on its predecessor Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA).
Under the new campaign, each household will get `12,000 to build toilets as against Rs. 10,500 under NBA. Also triggering behavioural change in people who prefer relieving themselves in the open will be a top priority along with the focus on building toilets.
The NDA government decided to restructure the NBA as it said it had failed to achieve its objective. Under the NBA, from over 1.2 crore toilets to be built annually prior to 2011-12, the figure had come down to below 50 lakh per year now.