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State Ministers’ Conference to Evolve Strategy for Implementation of “Swachh Bhara Mission by 2019”.

State ministers in-charge of drinking water and sanitation will meet here tomorrow to undertake a national review of the progress in the  National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) and to evolve a strategy for speedy and effective implementation of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s mission of ‘Swachh Bharat’ by 2019” .

The review meeting convened by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation will also take stock of the so-called Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA) launched in the first year of the 12th five year plan and the factors behind its failure.

Despite 64 years of rural development, 60% of India’s rural population defecate in open either due to lack of toilets, lack of their Operation and Maintenance, due to absence of water or inappropriate technology with no scientific mode of digesting the waste, leading to rural men questioning the usefulness of toilets.

            In the last 60 years only 32% rural families in 2011 (as per census figures) and 40 %.( NSSO figures of 2013) have rural toilets.

From over 1.2 crore toilets to be built annually prior to 2011-12, the figure has come down to below 50 lakhs 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 fact that 8.84 crore are eligible for the incentives, toilets have not been built. More than 2 crore families who were given subsidy under the programme /financial incentive do not have functional toilets today.

Prime Minister Shri Modi has personally expressed anguish in his Independence Day speech and expressed the commitment of his Government to achieve  ‘Swachh Bharat’ by 2019 as a tribute on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, by eliminating the  unhealthy practice of Open Defecation .

The Union Minister of Rural Development, Drinking Water & Sanitation Shri 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 Gram Panchayat of the country.

Prime Minister has also directed that every school in the country has to be provided with toilets separately for boys and girls by the 15th. of August 2015. These are serious commitments, and the state ministers conference will explore all avenues to achieve them.

             Shri Gadkari strongly fees 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  organized here on August 26 & 27.

In response to the direct appeal from the Prime Minister, some corporate houses are coming forward to participate in the Swacch Bharat Abhiyan through the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) route.  These Corporate Bodies can participate by facilitating CSR funding and also expertise in terms of management for this. Shri Gadkari, who has taken the twin initiative of organising the national review and the exhibition has urged the state governments en to sure that they have a robust implementation mechanism for the Sanitation scheme down to the Gram Panchayat level. He has suggested the BARG Funds be used for waste water treatments and solid waste disposal.