From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Swachh Bharat
Mains level : Analysis of Swachh Bharat Urban in the background of Rural
The Swachh Bharat Mission is being executed by two different ministries — the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation for rural areas and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs for urban areas.
Swachh Bharat – challenges
- In rural areas, the major challenge was to change the mindset of the populace.
- As the majority of the households did not have toilets in their homes, the main component of Swachh Bharat Mission was to construct household latrines and focus on IEC activities.
- The need for a dedicated sewerage network is less in rural areas as the toilets are connected with in-house soak pits.
- Domestic waste in rural areas is also managed in a much better manner as it is segregated at the household level and a majority of it is used in the fields.
- Improving the cleanliness level in a rural area is much less complex than in an urban setup.
Swachh Bharat – Urban
- An urban area faces two major challenges — disposal of solid waste and sewage/liquid waste.
- Disposal of solid waste has three key components: Waste collection, transfer of the waste, and proper disposal at the landfill site.
- The task of waste collection and its transfer to the landfill site requires both manpower as well as an efficient transportation system.
- The segregation of waste can either be at the source or at the landfill. Segregation at source is more economical.
- At the landfill, it is done by either using high-end segregation plants or manual conveyors.
Challenges of SB(U): Disposal
- Disposal of solid waste is primarily the responsibility of municipalities.
- These municipalities are not equipped with the manpower, financial resources, and technology for the task.
- Most of them are dependent upon the state governments for resources.
- These municipalities do not have sufficient human resources in terms of engineers or sanitation staff to manage the waste.
- Landfill site management is very poor due to a lack of technical know-how.
- Merely constructing toilets cannot solve the problem as these areas require proper sewerage network.
- The soak pit system that works in rural areas cannot work in urban areas due to a space crunch and increasing population density.
- The job of laying the sewerage network is again distributed between the state’s public health engineering department and the municipalities.
Limitations of SB(U)
- Its main focus is on the construction of individual household toilets, community toilets, public urinals and IEC activities.
- The funds earmarked for solid waste management are minimal.
- There is a limited provision of funds for laying the sewerage networks.
- The strategy used for Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) will not yield results in the urban mission.
- There is a need for revamping the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) wherein the focus is on solid waste and sewer management.
- Recurring funds must be provided for the collection of waste and its disposal.
- A window may be given to municipalities for upgrading their capabilities to augment their revenue collection.
- Separate funds must be given for the development of landfill sites.
- Best possible practices for waste collection across key cities must be studied and emulated.
- Adopting a piecemeal approach for constructing toilets and litter bins will not solve the systemic issue of waste disposal in cities.
- Unless we are able to lift the waste from the streets systematically, cleanliness will not have any meaning.
- The success of the Swachh Bharat Mission depends also on changing the way waste is disposed of by the municipalities and the state governments.