Narendra Modi govt says Jairam Ramesh's sanitation scheme a failure, will review

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Aug 25 2014, 01:56am hrs
Narendra ModiIn 2012, the Total Sanitation Campaign was revamped as Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan. Reuters
The Narendra Modi government will review the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan scheme, launched by the previous UPA government in 2012 to eradicate the menace of open defecation in the country, saying it was a "failure".

Ahead of the conference of state ministers in-charge of drinking water and sanitation here tomorrow, the government today said it will take stock of "Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA) launched in the first year of the 12th Five Year Plan and the factors behind its failure".

The government also said tomorrow's meeting, convened by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDWS), will evolve a strategy for speedy implementation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's mission of 'Swachh Bharat' by 2019.

In 2012, the Total Sanitation Campaign was revamped as Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan, modifying guidelines and objectives to accelerate sanitation coverage in rural areas with renewed strategies.

Criticising the programme envisaged by the then Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation Jairam Ramesh, the ministry, in a release, said, "From over 1.2 crore toilets to be built annually prior to 2011-12, the figure has come down to below 50 lakh per year now."

States have also carried out a Baseline Survey in 2012-13, from which it is clear that out of the 17.19 crore rural households in the country, about 11.11 crore households do not have latrines, the release said.

MWDS pointed out that toilets have not been built for 8.84 crore households. More than two crore families who were given subsidy under the programme do not have functional toilets today, it said.

Modi had personally expressed anguish in his Independence Day speech and vowed to achieve 'Swachh Bharat' by 2019 as a tribute on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, by eliminating the unhealthy practice of open defecation.

Minister for Rural Development, Drinking Water and Sanitation Nitin Gadkari who will deliver valedictory address at the state ministers' conference has directed that scientifically proven Solid and Liquid Waste Management activities be launched in each village panchayat of the country.

Prime Minister had also directed that every school in the country has to be provided with toilets separately for boys and girls by August 15 next year.

The state ministers' conference will explore all avenues to achieve these commitments, the release said.

It said Gadkari strongly feels that apart from twin pit technology, and the conventional septic tank technology, the new bio digester technology developed by DRDO needs to be tried.

However, for the kind of acceleration required, there is a need to look at newer options which use less water, apply rural pots which save water and biological waste treatment methods.

Keeping this in view, a two-day exhibition will be organised here on August 26 and 27.

In response to the direct appeal from the Prime Minister, some corporate houses would also participate in the Swacch Bharat Abhiyan through the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) route.

These corporate bodies can participate by facilitating CSR funding and expertise.

Gadkari, who has taken the initiative of organising the national review and the exhibition has urged the state governments to ensure that they have a robust implementation mechanism for the sanitation scheme down to the village panchayat level.