“Swachh Bharat Mission is the mother of all Missions” says the Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu.
Started last year on October 2, 2014, as the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan today completes one year, Naidu gives an account of physical performance on ground. Gujarat, MP, Chattisgarh, Karnataka, AP, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana are top performing States in urban areas. Elaborating on the features and objectives of the Mission, Naidu said, “Swachh Bharat initiative is different from others in the sense that this targets the minds of the people while others seek to meet the needs already felt in the minds of the people. To put it differently, while other initiatives are largely demand driven, Swachh Bharat Mission aims at creating demand for sanitary services and infrastructure. A Clean India is the most profound statement that the county can make to the world which is keenly watching us in the context of various initiatives launched during the last over one year”.
The Minister said that since the launch of the Mission in October last year by the Prime Minister, people across the country and age groups have been inspired by the philosophy and objectives of the Mission and this is the major achievement of the last one year. To further reinforce and consolidate behavioral changes, an intensive campaign has been launched on 25th of last month and will continue till March next year to propel people into action for cleanliness and intensive cleanliness drive will be taken up in 11 thematic areas, Shri Naidu informed. Thematic areas to be covered include : Agricultural and grain markets, Religious and tourism places, Educational institutions, Resident Welfare Associations, Under passes and fly overs, Cantonment Boards, Water bodies and recreation places, Hospitals, Old cities and Government offices.
Venkaiah Naidu informed that physical performance in respect of Mission targets in urban areas over the last one year has been encouraging. He said that based on reports received till August this year, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Punjab, Chattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana have performed well in respect of construction of individual household toilets.
Naidu informed that as against the target of construction of 25 lakh household toilets in urban areas till March, 2016, construction of 16.45 lakh toilets has been taken up and 4.65 lakh toilets have already been built. He noted that in major states like UP, Bihar and Tamil Naidu is still to pick up momentum. The Minister expressed confidence that the target in this regard will be met.
Naidu stated that toilet construction is still to begin in five UTs of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Daman & Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Delhi and four North-Eastern States of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Tripura besides Kerala and Tamil Naidu.
Referring to the enthusiasm on the part of several states, Shri Naidu said that over and above the central assistance of Rs.4,000 per construction of each toilet in urban areas, 13 states are providing additional assistance in the range of Rs.4,000 to Rs.13,000.