Many Swachh Bharat Toilets Defunct, Unusable: MP’S Panel

Prelims level : Government schemes and policies Mains level : GS 2: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes
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  • Many toilets constructed under the Swachh Bharat Mission have already become defunct and unusable, according to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Rural Development.


  • The Committee report slammed the Ministry of Drinking and Sanitation (nodal agency for implementation of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in rural areas) for not bothering to find out the scope of the problem, despite an earlier recommendation to conduct a survey.
  • The report further said that if these problems are not tackled seriously, the objective of full household sanitation coverage in the entire rural areas of the country by October 2, 2019, would remain a distant dream.
  • The main problem behind the reason for its non-usability is pertaining to the quality of construction and scarcity of water.
  • Hence the Committee said that for the success of the vision, the constructed toilets needs to be safe and sustainable so that they can be utilised for a long period of time
  • The Ministry of Rural development has replied that these dysfunctional toilets are those which were constructed under earlier rural sanitation programme and also funds from the Finance Ministry’s Swachh Bharat Kosh, which channels private and corporate money to the mission, were being used to retrofit these defunct toilets constructed under earlier scheme.
  • But the Ministry is silent as to what action has been initiated to conduct the recommended survey for assessment of such toilets which have already become redundant and unusable

About Swachh Bharat Mission:

  • It is a nation-wide campaign in India for the period 2014 to 2019 that aims to clean up the streets, roads and infrastructure of India’s cities, towns, and rural areas.
  • The objectives of Swachh Bharat include eliminating open defecation through the construction of household-owned and community-owned toilets and establishing an accountable mechanism of monitoring toilet use
  • The mission has two thrusts: Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (“gramin” or ‘rural’), which operates under the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation; and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (‘urban’), which operates under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) have the following objectives:

  • Eliminate open defecation,
  • Conversion of insanitary toilets to pour flush toilets,
  • Eradication of manual scavenging,
  • 100% collection and scientific processing/disposal reuse/recycle of Municipal Solid Waste. To bring about a behavioural change in people regarding healthy sanitation practices. Generate awareness among the citizens about sanitation and its linkages with public health. Strengthening of urban local bodies to design, execute and operate systems,
  • To create enabling environment for private sector participation in Capital Expenditure and Operation & Maintenance (O&M) costs.

Swachh Bharat Mission (Rural) has the following objectives:

  • Bring about an improvement in the general quality of life in the rural areas.
  • Accelerate sanitation coverage in rural areas to achieve the vision of Swachh Bharat by 2019 with all Gram Panchayats in the country attaining Nirmal status.
  • Encourage cost effective and appropriate technologies for ecologically safe and sustainable sanitation. Motivate communities and Panchayati Raj Institutions promoting sustainable sanitation facilities through awareness creation and health education. Develop community managed environmental sanitation systems focusing on solid & liquid waste management for overall cleanliness in the rural areas.
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