In Budget 2020-21, PM Modi’s Swachh Bharat scheme gets 28% hike in allocation
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet cleanliness scheme, Swachh Bharat Mission, has been given a 28% hike in funds as the government wants to shift from building toilets to better waste management.
The Swachh Bharat Mission was allotted Rs 9,638 crore in the revised estimate in FY2019-20. Presenting India’s first general budget in the new decade, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman allotted Rs 12,294 crore for the programme, a hike of 27.5%. In FY19-20, the government had allotted Rs12,644 crore but a large amount remained unspent.
Sitharaman underlined that the NDA government will continue to push for the next phase after its initial target of making India open defecation free (ODF). The ODF Plus will focus on better waste management to ensure higher levels of cleanliness. “Our government is committed to ODF Plus in order to sustain ODF behaviour and to ensure that no one is left behind. Now, more needs to be done towards liquid and grey water management. Focus would also be on solid waste collection, source segregation and processing,” she said in her budget speech on Saturday, while announcing that the “Total allocation for the Swachh Bharat Mission is about Rs 12,300 crore in 2020-21.”
The scheme, which was rolled out from October 2 in 2014, has so far built 10.2 crore toilets across the states, resulting in 61% increase in households with toilets, according to the official data available with the drinking water and sanitation ministry.
In the current financial year, the government has so far built 81 lakh toilets and 706 districts in India are self-declared ODF. Basking in the success of the ODF programme, the Modi government has aimed for ODF Plus that means regular use of toilets, their maintenance and management of solid and liquid waste. After a village or district secures ODF tag, it can try to become an ODF Plus habitat. The waste management programme has four components: management of plastic waste, management of biodegradable waste, greywater management and faecal sludge management.
Out of the allocations for the FY20-21, the rural part of Swachh Bharat mission will bag the lion’s share of the funds. As against the revised estimate of Rs 8338 crore in FY19-20, the SBM (rural) has been allotted Rs 9994 crore.