The CAG has pointed out that while the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 2, 2014 with an aim of 100 per cent open defecation free India by 2019, before this similar targets for eradication of open defecation were set for 2012, then to 2017 and again for 2022.
However, the country’s sanitation programmes have failed to achieve the desired targets due to planning weaknesses, large-scale diversions, wastages and irregularities, the CAG said today in its report on performance audit of total sanitation campaign/Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan tabled in Parliament.
Here are top 5 points to note:
1. “Audit clearly reveals the failure of the sanitation programmes in achieving the envisaged targets.” The CAG said its audit has brought out planning level weaknesses which were critical for the success of programme.
2. “More than 30 per cent of individual household latrines were defunct/non-functional for reasons like poor quality of construction, incomplete structure, non- maintenance,” it pointed out.
3. Nearly Rs 10,000 crore was spent on the rural sanitation programme by the Central government in the five years covered by audit and large scale diversions, wastages and irregularities were noted.
4. “The conceptual frame-work kept changing from supply driven to demand driven and finally to ‘saturation and convergence’ approach, yet the lessons learnt and experimentations through this long journey do not seem to have made much impact on the sanitation status in the country”.
5. CAG said unless implementation is based on realistic planning and is backed by large scale information, education and communication campaigns to bring about behavioural changes in the target population and overall governance at the grass root level improves, mere deployment of resources may not have any significant impact.