Swachh Bharat report card: Rural Bihar

Seetha Gopalakrishnan
Tuesday, June 16, 2015 - 15:18

Sanitation programmes, for several years, were primarily driven by supply. The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has, or is expected to contribute to shifting the trend from supply driven to one that is driven by demand. However, behaviour change is continuous process. Creating a demand for toilets and inculcating healthy sanitation habits is achieved by a sustained programme to change pre-set attitudes and inhibitions.

The Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) is responsible for implementing Swachh Bharat activities through the Bihar State Water and Sanitation Mission (BSWSM).

The Government of Bihar launched the Lohiya Swachhata Yojna (LSY) to cater to the sanitation needs of rural households that were not covered under National Sanitation Programmes. This scheme provides an incentive of Rs. 4600 to rural APL families who are left out of the Gramin Swachh Bharat net.

Unsatisfactory performance

The State Government has set its mind to make 1432 Gram Panchayats open defecation-free for the year 2015-16. Despite the operation of both central and state government schemes, the progress on the ground is woefully inadequate.

Bihar has managed a deplorable coverage of 0.41% in individual household latrine construction as per the State Annual Action Plan 2015-16. The state has managed to spend 4.24% of the funds made available by the Centre. Several District Water and Sanitation Committees (DWSC) have not spent any of the monies allotted to them under the state scheme. Only 4 DWSCs have reported progress to the PHED under the LSY.

It’s time the administration shifted gears and ensured speedy and satisfactory implementation of programmes for the October 2019 deadline of making the entire state ODF to become a reality.

Download the article with statistics from GSF- Project Bihar listed as an attachment below

Lead image courtesy: Millenium post