Economic Survey 2019: Modi’s flagship Swachh Bharat has an entire chapter of its own, while other schemes such as PAHAL, Ujjwala, FAME, Namami Gange, etc find specific mentions as well.
Budget Economic Survey 2019: Narendra Modi’s favourite schemes from his first tenure such as Swachh Bharat and Ujjwala found prominent mention in the Economic Survey 2018-19, which was released on Thursday. It’s an interesting development to see the Economic Survey capturing the impact and reach of these behavioural and social schemes since the previous year 2017-18 survey had no special focus on one particular scheme. Modi’s flagship Swachh Bharat has an entire chapter of its own, while other schemes such as PAHAL, Ujjwala, FAME, Namami Gange, etc find specific mentions as well. Some of these schemes are near completion and will achieve their end of life targets this year.
Launched in 2014, the Swachh Bharat Mission primarily focused on the elimination of open-defecation places. For ease of execution, the government split the scheme in two, one aimed at rural areas and another for urban. For Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin, “the targets of the mission are to be met by 2 October 2019, coinciding with the 150th birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation,” Volume 1, Economic Survey 2019 said. The government is just 1.1% away from meeting the target of Swachh Bharat Mission, as on date. It has built over 9.5 crore toilets till 14 June 2019. In fact, the majority of the Indian states, barring Telangana, Odisha, Goa and Bihar are now open-defecation free.
However, the government’s work isn’t done here. “Construction of toilets is one part of the solution for a clean India. There are various facets for a clean India,” the Economic Survey said. Stating further targets, the Survey said that the next focus should be on achieving 100% disposal of solid and liquid waste; cleaning of rivers; treatment of industrial surface cleaning; rural sanitation; riverfront development; afforestation and biodiversity conservation.
It added that SBM needs to incorporate environmental and water management issues for long term sustainability and improvements. “Investment in the toilet and sanitation infrastructure in future demands incorporation of principles of sustainability, circular economy, and adoption of eco-friendly sanitation technologies,” Economic Survey said.
Earlier, Prime Minister’s Chief Economic Advisor Ashima Goyal had said that as some the schemes initiated in Modi 1.0 will soon be completed, the government spending on them will ease up and may find a use somewhere else.