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90% Of Toilet Target Ahead, 4 Years To Go

Prachi Salve,
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Of more than 110 million rural households without toilets across India in 2012, the government has been able to assist 11 million households in building toilets. That means, nearly 99 million households need toilets over the next four years, if the government is to meet the target set by the Swacch Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Campaign) by October 2, 2019.


It also means the government will need to set aside lots more money. About 88% of the Rs 25,885 crore ($4 billion) that Delhi set aside over the last 15 years for various sanitation campaigns has been spent. The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, launched on October 2, 2014 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is the latest such campaign, aimed at ensuring an open-defecation-free India by October 2, 2019.


More than 595 million Indians were defecating in the open in 2014, according to data released by UNICEF.


The Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government launched India’s first official, nationwide sanitation programme, the Total Sanitation Campaign  in 1999.


This was later changed to Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan in October 2012.



The government now plans a legislation that allows the local governments to punish people who are found spitting, urinating and throwing garbage, thus hoping to provide legal teeth to the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, which hopes to provide all rural households with toilets and kickstart solid- and liquid-waste management in gram panchayats (village councils).


Source: Swachh Bharat Abhiyan


About 88% (Rs 22,918 crore) of Rs 25,885 crore allocated/released have been spent on sanitation till now.


The worst year was 1999-2001, the year Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the prime minister and no projects were executed during this time period: No money was spent, although Rs 156 crore was released. The high point, if you can say that, was 2014-15 when the spending skyrocketed to 123% of the allocation of Rs 3,569 crore: Rs 4,380 crore was spent.


Physical Progress in Sanitation
Category Total number of households with no toilets Total number of households covered since 2012 Uncovered households
All India 101,076,440 10,864,572 98,885,234

Source: Swachh Bharat Abhiyan 


With nearly 99 million households still needed by 2019, India will need to maintain the toilet-building pace and make money available.


Under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Rs 2 lakh is provided to schools or panchayats for the construction of community sanitary complexes. The incentive for the construction of individual household latrines has been raised from Rs 10,000 to Rs 12,000, with Rs 9,000  to be paid by Delhi and Rs 3,000 by the states.


Let us look at how the states fare:


Financial Progress Of Top 5 States (Centre’s Share), 2015-16 (in Rs crore)
Total available 193.2 126.2 210.8 50.5 59.5 184.9
Individual Household Latrines 176.0 56.8 70.2 10.5 11.2 35.3
Sanitary Complex 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.0
School toilets 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Anganwadis 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Information, education & communication expenditure 1.1 0.2 1.0 0.1 0.5 0.1
others 0.3 0.4 1.3 0.2 0.4 0.6
% of funds used 92.0 45.5 34.4 21.4 20.8 19.8

Source: Swachh Bharat Abhiyan


West Bengal has used almost 92% of available funds, followed by Odisha with 45%. Since the planning of the scheme now depends on the states, clearing projects takes longer.


Most of the Swacch Bharat money was spend on household toilets, followed by toilets in schools.


Dubious data: Nagaland spends 1,839% of money, Gujarat 227%


The data on states’ share of spending on toilets is unclear. In some cases, such as Nagaland and Gujarat, the data reveal a fund utilisation of 1,839% and 227%, respectively.


Physical Progress of Top 5 states
States Component Objective performance %age achieved
WEST BENGAL Household Toilets 0.8 million 0.9 million 108.4
School Toilets 3925 3381 86.1
Sanitary Complex 470 124 26.3
Anganwadi Toilets 1601 371 23.1
Total (all categories) 8,92,297 9,64,964 108.1
GUJARAT Household Toilets 5.4 million 5.1 million 94
School Toilets 40439 37552 92.8
Sanitary Complex 1671 1776 106.2
Anganwadi Toilets 30516 25912 84.9
Total (all categories) 55,27,512 51,96,614 94
ODISHA Household Toilets 7 million 4.1 million 59.3
School Toilets 70,663 71483 101.1
Sanitary Complex 818 157 19.1
Anganwadi Toilets 25,160 24998 99.3
Total (all categories) 71,53,289 42,86,623 59.9
RAJASTHAN Household Toilets 7.1 million 5.5 million 76.9
School Toilets 85,662 88,924 103.8
Sanitary Complex 1544 748 48.4
Anganwadi Toilets 32,269 23,789 73.7
Total (all categories) 72,79,903 5621483 77.2
JHARKHAND Household Toilets 3.7 million 1.8 million 49
School Toilets 42687 41,435 97
Sanitary Complex 1203 361 30
Anganwadi Toilets 11472 7809 68
Total (all categories) 3784857 1877171 49.5

Source: Swachh Bharat Abhiyan


West Bengal has seemingly exceeded its mission objectives with the number of toilets built being 8% more than its target. Gujarat has met 94% of its target, while Jharkhand has achieved 49.5%.


IndiaSpend had earlier reported how Jammu and Kashmir did not use 96% of the money granted for the scheme and was 86% short of the 2014-15 target for household latrines.


(Salve is a policy analyst with IndiaSpend.)



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  1. Shreya Reply

    July 15, 2015 at 11:18 am

    Is the focus of the scheme only on rural India? What about urban India? Poor sanitation is a challenge in many urban areas as well, and it is harder to build toilets there – often because there is no land available for it, or the residents don’t have permission to construct on it. Pure financial allocation, without examining and amending local municipal regulations, will hamper the scheme’s execution. Can IndiaSpend also look at the status in urban India?

  2. Vinay Tandon Reply

    July 15, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    There are lots of questions around this and similar schemes. Hope that IndiaSpend can help find answers to some.

    1 What exactly is the model of the HH toilet? It needs water to flush? It needs a separate septic tank? Can the toilet and the tank be built in Rs 12,000 being offered? What happens if the septic tank malfunctions or stops working after a few years, particularly in congested localities?

    2 Given the huge quantities of water required, are flush toilets going to be a sustainable proposition in rural India when drinking water is in such short supply and is being supplied at hugely subsidised rates or virtually free?

    3 Have dry pit laterines been tried anywhere in rural India? They seem to hold much promise in terms of cost effectiveness, water requirement and sustainability.

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