Cabinet approves Swachh Bharat Mission
Narendra Modi got a big boost as the Cabinet okayed his pet “Swachh Bharat” mission to eliminate open defecation and promoting construction of individual and community toilets. The government has come out strong against open defecation. The Union Cabinet has also given its consent to the Clean Ganga Fund which will seek contributions and funds from citizens, NRIs, NGOs and other voluntary organisations.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the plan on his maiden independence day speech in which he had put lot of emphasis on the mission. The mission will be accomplished in the next five years and will begin on the birth anniversary of Gandhiji i.e. October 2, 2014. The urban mission will start in 4041 statutory towns involves no open defecation, no manual scavenging, solid waste management by respective municipal corporations, conversion of toilets to flush toilets and also to bring change in behavioural patterns of people. The total expected cost of the programme is Rs 62,009 crore, whereas Centre will contribute a sum of Rs 14,623 crore only. There will be provision of community toilets in residential areas where it is difficult to penetrate to levels of providing an individual toilet. The tourist destinations will have adequate number of public toilets on strategic points like bus stations, railway stations, places of recreation etc.
Likewise similar drives will be carried out in rural areas also. Central government also stands committed to the clean Ganga project. The mission of Namami Ganga is very promising and is essential for initial directions. Government has earmarked a sum of Rs. 2,037 crores for the project but will require voluntary effort and contribution for the fund.