It was 2nd October 2014 and the Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi was paying homage to the father of the nation “Mahatma Gandhi” at Raj-Ghat in New Delhi. He took a historic step from there and announced a massive campaign “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan”. As the name suggest, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is all about making our environment, our society and our India clean to make its growth faster.
The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan works simultaneously in the whole country. To apply Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in such a large populated country was quite hard. The Government divided the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in two categories as Swachh Bharat Abhiyan for Rural Areas and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan for Urban Areas. Both the categorized missions work in their respective fields.
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan for Urban Areas
According to the census 2011, the 31% of the whole population of the nation lives in the urban areas. Also the data refers that a major part of this population still lacks the household toilets and depends on open defecation. The cities and towns in India suffer with the problem of cleanliness more than the rural areas in all aspects.
Almost every part of the city or town suffers the problem of littering of garbage on public places. The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan for Urban Areas will mainly focus on the cleanliness in Urban Areas and will try to eliminate all these problems completely. The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan or the Swachh Bharat Mission for Urban Areas is implemented by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (M/o HUA).
Objectives of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan for Urban Areas
There are a number of components responsible for the lack of cleanliness in the cities and town making it unhygienic for the people. The government has decided to work on these basic components first to eliminate the problem of insanitation. What are those basic components? Let’s discuss below.
- To remove the problem of open defecation, the government has first focused on providing the households with sanitary toilets ensuring that there should no household be engaged in open defecation. Also the pit latrines, available in the given area, should be converted into sanitary latrines and there should be no new insanitary toilets constructed.
- Many households in urban areas lack household toilets due to the problem of insufficient land or space. These families are bound for open defecation even though they don’t like it. The Government decided to lessen their problem by constructing ‘Community Toilets’ with the proper facility of water and bathing for both men and women and also for disabled people. There will be a community toilet among a certain number of houses without household toilets. The community toilet will be placed on such a location from where it will be easily accessible to all the houses of the community.
- The Government also ensured to construct a sufficient amount of public toilets and urinals at the places where public gathering is very often. These toilets would be provisioned for both men as well women and also for disabled people. These toilets will have proper water arrangements and will be kept maintained timely.
- The Government has also decided to work on ‘Solid Waste Management’ by taking proper steps and by contacting the related Ministry. The Municipal Solid Waste Management has a planned systemic process for wastes including waste segregation and storage at source, primary collection, secondary storage, transportation, secondary segregation, resource recovery, processing, treatment and final disposal of solid wastes.
- Apart from the steps taken by the Government, the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is incomplete without the actual participation of the public. There should be sense of faith among the people of the nation with respect to the cleanliness around them for which the government has decided to launch some cleanliness awareness campaign. These campaigns will teach people about the benefits of sanitation and problems arising with poor hygiene and poor sanitation.
- Despite these primary goals, the Government will also look over some other factors which create an obstacle in attaining the state of cleanliness and healthy life like eradication of manual scavenging, proper arrangement of littering in public places, keeping the public places, historical places and monuments clean to promote health and tourism. These are the few of the steps to be taken under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in Urban Areas to make whole nation clean.
Institutional Framework of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan for Urban Areas
The institutional framework of Swachh Bharat Mission is based on 3 tiers’ mission management structure as National Level, State Level and ULB (Urban Local Bodies) level.
The Ministry of Urban Development will notify the National Advisory and Review Committee (NARC) headed by the Secretary. The NARC will monitor and supervise the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in urban areas and will advice the States and Union Territories as per the requirement. The NARC will also approve and release the fund for the Mission for different States and UTs. Even the NARC will also monitor the outcome achieved by the Mission and calculate the success ratio.
Like NARC, there will be a State High Powered Committee (SHPC) which will be chaired by the Secretary of the State. The State High Powered Committee will be responsible for the management of the mission at state or UT level.
As it is already mentioned that the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan/Mission is a mission of the people so the involvement of people and local bodies is also very important. The government has also focused on involving Urban Local Bodies (ULB) in the mission to put its actual effect. These ULBs will ensure the active participation of Resident Welfare Associations, Ward Committees, NGOs, Area Sabhas and Civil Society Groups in Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in Urban Areas as well.
Importance of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan for Urban Area
Under Swachh Bharat Mission in Urban Areas, the Government has decided to cover 1.04 crore households to provide with household toilets. This is a huge ratio which will eradicate almost the whole problem of open defecation.
Also the vision of government to construct 2.5 lakh community toilets and 2.6 lakh public toilets will make the aim of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan to be true. There is also the provision of assistance if one wants to construct his/her own toilet. The assistance will be of Rs. 4000 from the central government and of Rs. 1333 from the respective state government. It is a huge support from the government and has a great importance.
The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean Indian Mission) will boost the productivity and the GDP of the Nation in an indirect way. The government has launched the mission for tenure of 5 years and has aimed at achieving the state of 100% open defecation free country by the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi i.e. 2nd October 2019.
Success of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in Urban Areas
Urban areas in India have been the dirtiest places as there could be seen littering of garbage everywhere easily and the saddest thing is that people spreading these littering were themselves unconscious about the losses of the health due to these unhygienic activities.
The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has made many remarkable changes. Open defecation has been the main problem to be removed under the campaign and it was also achieved when government declared about 700 districts and 35 States/Union Territories to be open defecation free. Door to door waste collection is also initiated by the Ministry of Urban Development.
In the last, we should remember that our society is dirty only because of us and it can be cleaned also only by us. A simple concept is that “If you can’t clean your society, just don’t make them dirtier”.
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