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| Last Updated:13/10/2014

Latest News(Archive)

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Toilets on paper

The Hindu, 12 October 2014


More than half the households in the country still lack access to sanitation. In its villages, some toilets built under past schemes exist only on paper.


In 2019, India will observe the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, who gave the clarion call, “Clean up your own mess.” But even 67 years after Independence, our cities and towns present a sorry picture replete with mounds of garbage, rotting sewers and children defecating in the open. Can the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 2, Gandhiji’s birth anniversary, do what nearly 30 years of sanitation schemes have not been able to do in independent India?


The funding numbers for sanitation programmes have been impressive. Since 1986, India has spent over Rs. 18,000 crore on what are essentially toilet-building schemes — the Central Rural Sanitation Programme, followed by the Total Sanitation Campaign and then the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyaan. The Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan (SBA) will be a significant jump forward — to build the 11.11 crore toilets that the government needs to cover every household, it will spend every year nearly double the amount the government has spent cumulatively over the past 25 years. Read more....