In October 2014, GoI launched the Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM-U) – a sanitation policy focused on urban sanitation. The scheme is introduced by the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD). The policy had the following objectives:
•Make the country open defecation free (ODF) by 2019
•Convert insanitary toilets to pour flush toilets
•Achieve 100 per cent collection and scientific processing of Municipal Solid Waste
•Bring about a behavioural change in people regarding healthy sanitation practices
•Generate awareness among citizens about sanitation and its linkages with public health
•Strengthen ULBs (Urban Local Bodies) to design, execute and operate systems
•Create an enabling environment for private sector participation in Capital Expenditure and Operation and Maintenance (O&M) costs.
Process for granting of ODF status:-
The guidelines provide a detailed process of ODF declaration and verification. In the first stage, ULBs have to obtain a self-declaration of ODF from all the wards of the city. In the second stage, the ULB can make a preliminary public declaration of ODF for the city, and request feedback from the public. Subsequently, a final resolution is adopted by the ULB and communicated to their respective state governments. The state government is required to verify the ODF status of the city through an independent, third-party verification process. Finally, the MOUD is to carry out the ‘Swachh Certification’ process, which require recertifcation every six months. The Quality Council of India (QCI) has been assigned the work of verification and certification for ODF.
Status of ULBs around India:-
Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh have the highest number of ODF ULBs. As of 18 January, 2017, a total of 332 ULBs across 15 states had been declared ODF
Allocations for SBM-U stood at `2,300 crore for the FY 2017-18. As of 18 January, 2017, a total of 332 Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) across 15 states had been declared open defecation free (ODF).
SBM-U has six components:
- Construction of individual household latrines (IHHLs), including conversion of insanitary toilets into pourflush latrines.
- Construction of Community Toilets (CTs)
- Construction of Public Toilets (PTs)
- Solid Waste Management (SWM)
- Information, Education and Communication (IEC) &
- Public Awareness Capacity Building and Administration (CB&A)
Fund releases by GOI are linked to budget line items related to these six components. Toilet construction is being prioritised in Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra. 89 per cent and 79 per cent of total releases over the last three years to these states, respectively, were for toilet construction. Releases for toilet construction were relatively low in Bihar (40 per cent), Andhra Pradesh (26 per cent) and Haryana
(20 per cent).
The target set under SBM-U was to construct a total of 1.04 crore individual toilets and 5.08 lakh CT/PTs. As of 18 January, 2017, a total of 29.18 lakh IHHLs and 1.10 lakh CT/PTs had been constructed across India. By 18 January, 2017, Gujarat and Sikkim had met their mission targets. Both states had constructed toilets amounting to 140 per cent and 101 per cent of their respective mission targets. In contrast, completion rates were low in Haryana (9 per cent), Bihar (8 per cent) and Odisha (4 per cent).
SBM-U provides for a financial incentive to be made available to households seeking to construct an IHHL. The guidelines lay down the process for availing this incentive, which requires that beneficiaries submit an online application. This application is verified and approved by the relevant ULB before the incentive can be paid. Between October 2014 and 18 January, 2017, over 76 lakh IHHL applications had been received across the country,
of which 43 per cent had been approved.