Over 11 crore toilets & 2.23 lakh Community Sanitary Complexes built under Swachh Bharat Mission – Grameen

 Over 11 crore toilets & 2.23 lakh Community Sanitary Complexes built under Swachh Bharat Mission – Grameen
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New Delhi, March 16, 2023: Sanitation is a State subject, and hence the task of providing toilets, initiating behavior change activities, as well as providing Solid and Liquid Waste Management arrangements and sustaining the various activities vests with the states. 

Swachh Bharat Mission was launched on 2nd October 2014 with the aim to make the country Open Defecation Free (ODF) by 2nd October, 2019.  During the period of five years from the launch of the programme, more than 10 crore individual household latrines (IHHLs) were built across all States/UTs, and as of 2nd October 2019, all States/UTs had self-reported themselves ODF. 

All the districts had uploaded certificate signed by District Collector/Magistrate confirming the ODF status of the districts.  The States/UTs were however advised to cover any left out households or new households under the programme to support them for construction of toilets.  It is to be noted that apart from access/availability of latrine, its continued usage plays an important role in the ODF status, which is primarily a behavioral issue.  

Under Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) [SBM(G)] Phase-II, which has been launched from 1st April, 2020 with focus on continuation of behaviour change campaign, sustaining ODF status, ensuring that No One is Left Behind, and providing arrangements for Solid and Liquid Waste Management in rural areas, provision for incentive for left out/newly emerging households for construction of toilets has been continued.

National Family Health Survey (NFHS) is primarily focused on health and captures about 131 indicators. Sanitation is only a very small part of it, which is captured as part of Household assets. Even in Sanitation, historically NFHS had been looking at usage of an improved toilet. NFHS was traditionally not capturing access to toilet, but in round 5, after inputs from DDWS, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare included a question on access to toilet.

Based on the initial findings of NFHS 5 and considering that this was a deviation from the department’s estimates of sanitation coverage, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation had issued an advisory to the States to take up, at their level, a sample based rapid assessment of gaps to understand the ground situation.  The rapid assessment undertaken by sample States do not match with the findings of NFHS-5.  Some of the States who have reported huge variation are as under:

StatePercentage rural sanitation coverage as per NFHS-5Percentage rural sanitation coverage as per rapid assessment done by the State
Madhya Pradesh69.897.5
Uttar Pradesh72.793.0

Under SBM(G), so far, over 11 crore IHHLs and 2.23 lakh Community Sanitary Complexes (CSCs) have been built across all States/UTs since October 2014.  Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation has repeatedly advised the States to ensure that no one is left behind in having access to toilets. Provision for incentive for left out/ newly emerging households has been continued under SBM(G) Phase-II and over 92 lakh toilets have been constructed since the launch of SBM(G) Phase-II from April 2020. Sanitation and Behaviour change is a long term and continuous process, and habits take time to change. States are working towards continuous usage of toilets through IEC and community mobilization to ensure sustainability of gains made under eight years of Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen).

Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation has also been carrying out surveys through independent agencies to seek feedback on the sanitation status across India. Recently, Swachh Survekshan Grameen 2022 covered 17,559 villages in 709 districts in 33 States/UTs across India. Around 1,75,521 Households were interviewed in these 17,559 villages. Based on this survey, 95.4% of surveyed households have access to toilet and 95.4% of those having toilet have been using it regularly.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Jal Shakti, Shri Prahlad Singh Patel in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.

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