November 24, New Delhi: Narendra Modi led central government is now mulling over to ask urban public to give up subsidy up to Rs 4000 on building of toilets.
The move comes out as a India is a country where open defection and poor toilet hygiene is one of the biggest problems being faced by not only rural regions but pose a big threat for urban households as well.
“India ranks top for having the greatest number of urbanites living without a safe, private toilet – 157 million – as well as the most urban dwellers practising open defecation — 41 million,” the report by WaterAid, a UK-based charity working in the field of safe water and sanitation, said.
The pressure Modi Government is swarming up on urban public to change the face of the nation is worrisome as “overall household wealth has fallen by 0.8%, in 2016 after growing steadily over the past decade as per the credit Suisse report.
Earlier Modi government called public to give up LPG gas cylinder subsidy so that most needy would be able to make use of the subsidy.
As per Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan more than 1.13 crore people gave up LPG subsidy till April 2016. While he also informed that government has created 60 lakh new LPG connections in BPL households using the savings from the Give It Up programme in the same period.
Now the government is planning to extend its Give it up drive to Swachh Bharat campaign and appeal citizens to not take Rs 4,000 subsidy to build household toilets in urban centres.
Presently the Central government gives a subsidy of Rs 4,000 to construct a toilet to a household without one. As much as 26 lakh household toilets in urban India have been built so far under the subsidy programme while lakhs of toilets are yet to be built.
On Nov 17, the Centre had sent a communique to all states that its ‘Giveup’ campaign requires the governments to communicate to the beneficiaries about the real cost of the service and subsidy that is being imparted to any beneficiary.
“The recipient should be encouraged to ‘giveup’ the subsidy and pay the cost of service so that the givenup amountcan be given to other needy sections of society. The saving derived from the campaign can be used for other developmental activities ofthe government,” the communique says, requesting the same to be extended to Swachh Bharat as per the new policy.
The communique is so far meant only for urban component of Swachh Bharat and not for the rural component of the project.