Current Public Administration Magazine (May - 2015) - Clean India Mission

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Urban Development

Clean India Mission

Clean India Mission is a national campaign by the Government of India, covering 4041 statutory towns, to clean the streets, roads and infrastructure of the country.

This campaign was officially launched on 2 October 2014 at Rajghat, New Delhi, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself cleaned the road. It is India's biggest ever cleanliness drive and 3 million government employees and school and college students of India participated in this event.

The mission was started by Prime Minister Modi, who nominated nine famous personalities for the campaign, and they took up the challenge and nominated nine more people and so on (like the branching of a tree). It has been carried forward since then with people from all walks of life joining it.

The components of the programme as listed in the SBM guidelines are:

  • Construction of individual sanitary toilets (mostly pit latrines) for households below the poverty line with subsidy (80%) where demand exists.
  • Conversion of dry latrines (pit latrines without a water seal) into low-cost sanitary latrines.
  • Construction of exclusive village sanitary complexes for women providing facilities for hand pumping, bathing, sanitation and washing on a selective basis where there is not adequate land or space within houses and where village panchayats are willing to maintain the facilities.
  • Setting up of sanitary marts.
  • Total sanitation of villages through the construction of drains, soakage pits, solid and liquid waste disposal.
  • Intensive campaign for awareness generation and health education to create a felt need for personal, household and environmental sanitation facilities

With effect from 1 April 1999, the Government of India restructured the Comprehensive Rural Sanitation Programme and launched the Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC).

To give a fillip to the Total Sanitation Campaign, effective June 2003 the government launched an incentive scheme in the form of an award for total sanitation coverage, maintenance of a clean environment and open defecation-free panchayat villages, blocks and districts called Nirmal Gram Puraskar.

Effective 1 April 2012, the TSC was renamed to Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA). On 2 October 2014 the campaign was relaunched as Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

This campaign aims to accomplish the vision of a 'Clean India' by 2 October 2019, the 150th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. It is expected to cost over RS. 62000 crore (US$9.8 billion). Fund sharing between the Central Government and the State Government and Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) is 75%:25% (90% : 10% for North Eastern and special category states).The campaign has been described as "beyond politics" and "inspired by patriotism".

Specific objectives are:

  • Elimination of open defecation
  • Conversion of unsanitary toilets to pour flush toilets (a type of pit latrine, usually connected to two pits)
  • Eradication of manual scavenging
  • 100% collection and processing/disposal/reuse/recycling of municipal solid waste
  • A behavioural change in people regarding healthy sanitation practices
  • Generation of awareness among citizens about sanitation and its linkages with public health
  • Supporting urban local bodies in designing, executing and operating waste disposal systems
  • Facilitating private-sector participation in capital expenditure and operation and maintenance costs for sanitary facilities.

Rare Gandhi footage

A four-minute film showing rare footage of Mahatma Gandhi and his ideas on cleanliness aired during the launch of the Swachh Bharat mission by Prime Minister Narendra Modi .

PM Modi’s ‘Clean India’ campaign launched

Lakhs of state government employees had been asked to be part of this massive drive which was launched by the Prime Minister in New Delhi. The Centre had asked state governments to organise walkathons and marathons, painting competitions and kite-flying events to create awareness on Swachchha Bharat Abhiyan, the nationwide sanitation drive.

Swachh Bharat campaign through social media

A “clean India challenge”, almost on the lines of the ALS ice bucket challenge that went viral across the world , unfold itself across social media platforms . And the first person who took up the challenge was none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself.

Construction of toilets is one aspect of the Swachh Bharat programme. The programme aims to to make India "open defecation free" by 2019. It plans to construct 12 crore toilets in rural India by October 2019, at a projected cost of RS. 1.96 lakh crore (US$31 billion). Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke of the need for toilets in his 2014 Independence Day speech stating, "Has it ever pained us that our mothers and sisters have to defecate in open? Poor womenfolk of the village wait for the night; until darkness descends, they can`t go out to defecate. What bodily torture they must be feeling, how many diseases that act might engender. Can't we just make arrangements for toilets for the dignity of our mothers and sisters?" Modi also spoke of the need for toilets in schools during the campaign for 2014 Jammu and Kashmir state elections stating, "When the girl student reaches the age where she realises this [lack of female toilets in the school] she leaves her education midway. As they leave their education midway they remain uneducated. Our daughters must also get equal chance to quality education. After 60 years of independence there should have been separate toilets for girl students in every school. But for the past 60 years they could not provide separate toilets to girls and as result the female students had to leave their education midway."

The Government is conducting the scheme in concurrence with the Indira Awaas Yojana, a rural housing scheme. Although, the Swachh Bharat programme began on 2 October 2014, the government had begun constructing toilets prior to that date. In the 12th Five Year plan (2012–17), the previous UPA government allocated Rs. 37159 crore (US$5.9 billion) for rural sanitation under its Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan scheme. The UPA used RS. 4724 crore (US$750 million) of allocated funds, leaving the Modi government with RS.32435 crore (US$5.1 billion). The programme has also received funding and technical support from the World Bank, corporations as part of corporate social responsibility initiatives, and by state governments under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan schemes.[As of May 2015, 14 companies including Tata Consulting Services, Mahindra Group and Rotary International have pledged to construct 3,195 new toilets. As of the same month, 71 Public Sector Undertakings in India supported the construction of 86,781 new toilets.

Between April 2014 and January 2015, 31.83 lakh toilets were built. Karnataka led all States in construction of toilets under the programme, while Punjab built the least.

Criticisms of the campaign include:

Some regard the motives of Prime Minister Modi as purely political. The prime minister nominated people who were supposed to do some cleaning-up. They would then nominate others, and so slowly the whole of India would be involved. Thus, anyone seeing a participant in the scheme, especially a celebrity, would inevitably link their actions to Modi, building up his reputation.

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is not a new programme. Launched in 1986 as the Central Rural Sanitation Programme, the scheme later became the Total Sanitation Campaign (1999) and Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (2012). Some regard it as merely a renaming.

There has been a problem of corruption in delivery of facilities such as toilets and latrines since the launch of the Central Rural Sanitation Programme (CRSP) 1986. In rural areas BDOs, GP president, secretaries, and others take bribes from poor Indians to provide them, and the poorest are unable to obtain them because they cannot afford the bribes.

The NIT Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India Aayog), formerly called the Planning Commission, is accused of preparing the guidelines of the scheme based on false reports through upward communication from people on-site such as BDO, GP presidents and secretaries; the Chairman, Deputy Chairman and the other members of the Planning Commission are accused of not checking the information by visiting the villages and physically seeing and talking with the beneficiaries face to face.

The central government is said to be irresponsible in not ensuring that the toilets, latrines, etc. are delivered, as the Ministry of Panchayati Raj closes grievance cases by transferring them to the state government, and never examines the details of whether the state government settles them correctly.

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