Swachch Bharat drive working

 By Neeraj Bajpai

As the tion braces to scale new heights on the flagship programme of ‘Swachch Bharat Mission’ (SBM) after its year-long drive, general awareness for cleanliness  and hygiene is spreading like a “infectious smile.” A plethora of  success stories and increasing commitment to the cleanliness indicate  that it is not a paper tiger project.

Profiling the mission and its accomplishments, not only officials but many social institutions and other bodies, involved in the mission, flag piles of data. Statistics, they say, do not matter in such a gigantic task which has picked a tural momentum . Now , more and more people and government and non government institutions are on board for the realisation of Swachch Bharat dream. Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah idu says SBM has been one of the major initiatives of the Government but while other initiatives are largely demand driven, it aims at creating demand for sanitary services and infrastructure and involves motivating people and sensitise them  towards need for adopting right behavioural attitudes.

He describes SBM as the mother of all new missions launched by the Central Government given its unique ture. A Clean India, Mr Venkaiah idu said, is the most profound statement that the county can make to the world which is keenly watching it in the context of various initiatives launched during the last over one year. The UD Minister said that since the launch of the Mission in October last year by the Prime Minister, people across the country and age groups have been inspired by its philosophy and objectives and this is its major achievement.

To further reinforce and consolidate behavioural changes, an intensive campaign has been launched last month and will continue till March next year to propel people into action for cleanliness and intensive cleanliness drive will be taken up in 11 thematic areas. The areas to be covered include agricultural and grain markets, religious and tourism places, educatiol institutions, resident welfare associations, under passes and fly overs, cantonment boards, water bodies and recreation places, hospitals, old cities and Government offices.

A  Swachch  Baharat conclave is also being planned. Based on reports received till August this year, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Kartaka, Punjab, Chattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Harya have performed well in respect of construction of individual household toilets. As against the target of construction of 25 lakh household toilets in urban areas till March, 2016, construction of 16.45 lakh toilets has been taken up and 4.65 lakh toilets have already been built. Major states including UP, Bihar and Tamil idu are still to pick up momentum, said the Minister on the first anniversary of the SBM. According to him, toilet construction is still to begin in five UTs of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Daman & Diu, Dadra and gar Haveli and Delhi and four North-Eastern States of Aruchal Pradesh, galand, Meghalaya and Tripura besides Kerala and Tamil du.

Referring to the enthusiasm on the part of several states, Mr idu said that over and above the central assistance of Rs.4,000 per construction of each toilet in urban areas, 13 states are providing additiol assistance in the range of Rs.4,000 to Rs.13,000. Regarding construction of community and public toilets in urban areas, Government records say as against target of building one lakh toilet seats by March, 2016, construction of 94,653 toilet seats has been taken up and 24,233 seats have already been built and the rest in progress.  The Minister said Solid Waste Magement is the largest component of the Mission in urban areas and till August this year, 100% door to door collection of municipal solid waste has been reported in 31,593 of the total 78,003 wards in urban areas of the country and the mission is on course to achieve the target of door to door collection of 50% of solid waste by March,2016. Regarding solid waste, as against the target of processing of 35% of 1,42,580 tonnes of solid waste being generated every day in urban areas, 17.34% is being processed at the moment.

On performance by some urban local bodies, Mr idu said that Surat and Morbi in Gujarat have already met the Mission targets of construction of 6,634 and 3,028 individual toilets already. Ahmedabad and Mahisagar, also in Gujarat are very close to meeting the Mission targets of construction of 22,562 and 3,028 toilets. In respect of solid waste magement, Chandigarh leads the list of good performers with 100% processing followed by Meghalaya (58%), Delhi(52%), Kerala and Manipur(50%), Telanga(48%), Kartaka(34%) and Andaman & Nicobar Islands(30%).Ahmedabad (64 wards), Surat(38), Mahisagar(27) and Morbi(14 wards) In Gujarat and Andaman & Nicobar Islands (30 wards) have reported 100% door to door collection of solid waste. Under Swachch Bharat Mission in urban areas, construction of 1.04 crore household toilets and 5.28 lakh community and public toilet seats besides 100% door to door collection of solid waste and its scientific disposal are envisaged at a total cost of Rs.66,009 cr. The Ministry of Urban Development has so far released Rs.1.038. 72 cr to 30 States and Union Territories. UTs of A & N Islands, Chandigarh, Daman & Diu, Dadra & gar Haveli and Lakshdweep besides the ne state of Manipur are still to be released funds.

Amid these developments, eyes are riveted towards cleanliness drives being undertaken even in remotest areas.From Prime Minister to State Chief Ministers, ministers ,accompanied by volunteers, caught attention as they embarked on symbolic cleaning with brooms It set the tone and many joined the stream unfazed by critics who rubbish it as a drama.

Many Ministries in the central government embarked upon their own programmes and the Railway Ministry drive on the mission came in sharp focus both for the  achievements and lapses as aspirations of passengers swung upscale. The Mission is in the centre of discussions almost every day. Recently , a anguished senior bureaucrat, in a sprawling Government complex, lamented that one of his close relatives died recently following an acute intestil ache. She could not get admission in any major hospital on account of flooded wards of dengue and other viral fevers patients in  the Capital, smarting under threat of deadly viral fevers  carried by mosquitoes  breeding in wastes.

Debates erupt that mece of such diseases, striking with ferocious annual  regularity  and taking toll of scores of human lives, could be combated effectively by initiatives like cleanliness and hygiene  and mass awareness programmes.“ Imagine the quantum of its impact on human lives and strain on the country’s health system, if missions like Swachcht Bharat would have not been launched. One may agree or disagree on the success and flops of such missions ,but  almost every day –during last one year,Swachch Bharat mission was debated and practiced ,’’ said a middle-aged class four employee  who quoted instances of cleanliness drives in colonies and people’s involvement.IANS

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