The mission of swachh Bharat was launched on 2nd October 2014 with an aim to make India filth free in next five years by 2019 which is apparently the 150th birth anniversary year of Mahatma Gandhi. The movement was led by Prime Minister himself from the front and was applauded by many whole heartedly.
According to one report, nearly 3 million government employees were and ministers were seen cleaning the roads with the broom. But on ground, the hype and photo-ops have failed to leave a mark.
It’s been 2 years down the line and the government’s statistical data shows that just 141 of the total 4,041 cities and less than one-sixth of the total 6.08 lakh villages have been declared as ODF (Open Defecation Free), as reported by Indian Express. Even today millions of Indians go openly to defecate in rural areas.
Just 22, 000-odd public toilets have been built till date under the urban component which is approximately 9% of the target of 2.55 lakh public toilets for the five-year mission program. Likewise, only 76,744 seats have been constructed as of now for community toilets which are almost 30% of the actual target.
There was another aim stated to achieve 100% waste management in 4,041 urban areas. However, even on this front, the Center has failed to make an impact. While a handful of cities and towns have 100% door to door collection and transportation, there is not a single one for managing 100% waste disposal and processing.
It was announced under the urban mission that by October 2019 a total of 1.04 crore individual household toilets would be constructed, while only 4.6 lakh toilets were constructed in the first year.
As a result, the ministry has revised its five-year mission target for individual household toilets in cities and has brought it down to 66.42 lakh. Although even in this downward revision, only 36% of the target has been achieved till now.
Moreover, the spokesperson from the Ministry of Urban Development stated that the delay occurred because of the time taken by states and cities to decide as to what extent they need financial assistance for construction of toilets in addition to the money provided by the Center. Although 23 of the total 650 districts which are covered under Swachh Bharat Mission have got ODF status while other 14 districts would likely to be added to the list on October 2.
Seven districts have already been declared as ODF before the mission started while, the states like Kerala and Himachal Pradesh which are always high on sanitation coverage, have declared ODF districts now, said the Ministry sources.