Toilet in every household: A dream too far?

Looks like Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Mission is failing to spread its magic. According to a study by CEPT (Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology) University, Gujarat, the step towards ensuring a toilet in every household in Maharashtra is witnessing a blockade due to a 65 per cent deficit in subsidies.

According to the study, the estimated cost to built a basic toilet along with a septic tank in Maharashtra is Rs. 35,000. Under the urban component of the Swachh Bharat Mission, the Centre provides a partial subsidy of Rs. 4,000. An add-on to this subsidy is provided by the state government, which extends a state subsidy of Rs. 8,000 to every household.

The two amounts i.e. Rs. 4,000 and Rs. 8,000 add up to Rs. 12,000, which is Rs. 23,000 less than the estimated cost of Rs. 35,000. So while a household gets 35 per cent of the construction cost in the form of subsidy, the remaining 65 per cent of Rs. 23,000 has to be organised by the household itself.

The study suggested that additional finance should be made available to increase the number of individual household toilets.

Also read: Backward classes ignored, majority of loans under Mudra Yojana go to general category

The BJP has always harped about its Swachh Bharat Mission but the ground reality is different. The government should come up with better financing options for the households so that the estimated cost for constructing a toilet is easily covered. The Centre could either could up with better loans facilities or should at least, increase the subsidy provided by it.

It’s high time India becomes an open-defecation free country. After all, it is also an essential indicator of development. It is also the right of every citizen to get a clean and healthy life, which is possible by ensuring toilets for them.

Seeing the current situation, it looks like the Swachh Bharat Mission is going down the drain.

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