From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Not much.
Mains level : Paper 2- Success of Swachh Bharat Mission and replicating it in Jal Jeevan Mission.
After the success of the SBM, government is looking for the next mission in the form of Jal Jeevan Mission.
Investment in Sanitation
- Investment of over 1 lakh crore: The central and state governments have invested in excess of one lakh crore on sanitation over the past five years.
- Where the fund was used? A majority of these funds have gone towards-
- Incentivising the poor and marginalised households to construct and use household toilets.
- Bringing about behaviour change, and-
- Building capacities of field functionaries.
- The success of the mission: Over 10 crore toilets have been built in rural India and nearly 55 crore people have stopped defecating in the open, all in just five years.
- This has contributed in bringing down global open defecation by more than half.
- Return on the investment in sanitation: The returns on these investments have been manifold, and their effects on the broader economy, markets and employment have been significant.
- 400 % return: The UNICEF recently estimated that investments in sanitation in India are yielding a 400 per cent return with each rural household in an open-defecation-free village saving Rs 50,000 on account of avoided medical costs and time savings.
- Future prospects for the sanitation infrastructure: The Toilet Board Coalition has estimated that the sanitation infrastructure and services market in India will be worth over $60 billion by 2021.
- Many new jobs, even in the most rural areas of the country, apart from reducing health and environmental costs and generating savings for households.
- Growth in the sanitation-related business: The business of manufacturing toilet-related hardware accessories have reported huge growth in sales during the SBM period.
- They project a continued uptrend through retrofitting and upgrades.
- This has been corroborated by another recent study by UNICEF in which they have estimated that SBM has resulted in creating over 75 lakh full-time equivalent jobs over the past five years, giving the rural economy a major boost.
A milestone, not a finish-line
- Sustaining the success: The government is committed to ensuring that this success is sustained.
- On October 2, 2019, the prime minister said that we must all ensure that people continue to use toilets and that no one is left behind.
- Allocation of 10,000 crores in the Budget: This has been backed up by the finance minister in the budget for 2020-21.
- In the budget, she announced about Rs 10,000 crore for rural sanitation to focus on-
- ODF sustainability.
- Bio-degradable waste management.
- Greywater management.
- Sludge management and-
- Plastic waste management for all villages by 2024.
Next Mission- Piped Water Supply
- Jal Jeevan Mission: The next critical basic service, is piped water supply. On Independence day this year, the prime minister announced the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM).
- With the goal of ensuring piped water supply for all households of India by 2024 and with a commitment of Rs 3.6 lakh crore of central and state funds for the scheme.
- The budgetary allocation of 12,000 crores: In the Union budget for 2020-2021, the government has already allocated Rs 11,500 crore for JJM, with an additional Rs 12,000 crore being made available through extra-budgetary resources.
- Earmarking 50% grants for drinking water and sanitation: In addition, a huge impetus to the rural water supply and sanitation sector is the earmarking of 50 per cent of the Rs 60,750 crore grant for rural local bodies provided under the Fifteenth Finance Commission for drinking water and sanitation.
- Making local bodies more responsible: This will ensure that the gram panchayats and local communities are responsible for the upkeep of their water and sanitation infrastructure, providing a boost to the sustainability of service delivery to people.
- Making sanitation and water supply everyone’s business: This approach will ensure that just like sanitation, provision of water supply and its upkeep will also become everyone’s business.
It is fairly clear now that investment in sanitation is actually a facilitator for broader economic, health and social gains. The government should ensure the sustainability of SBM and replicate its success in implementing the JJM.