Union urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu today said a time-bound action plan to accomplish the Swatchh Bharat Mission would be prepared by himself and Union rural development minister Nitin Gadkari very shortly.
The mission, launched on October 2 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with an aim to achieve clean India by October 2, 2019, will have massive programmes involving building toilets for all schools and houses, taking up projects for treating and using urban waste, besides creating awareness among people to change the habits.
According to Naidu, the action plan also involves the funding of basic sanitation infrastructure by dovetailing the resources available under the private sector’s corporate social responsibility (CSR), MP’s local area development fund and the Swatch Bharat Kosh (fund). The contributions to the mission will also enjoy tax breaks, he said.
“About Rs 62,000 crore will be spent on this mission in the next five years, of which some will come from the Centre and some from the states. The private sector also has a significant role to play,” Naidu said, while stating that a cultural renaissance was needed to accompany this government led-initiative to get rid of unhygienic practices in urban and rural India. State-level plans are also being worked out simultaneously, according to him.
Stating that one-fifth of the Singapore’s revenues back in the 1960’s were coming from penalties slapped for practices like littering and throwing filth on the roads, the minister said that only making appeals and voluntary actions would not alone help in fulfilling the clean India goals.
“We too will think of introducing penalties to stop the unhygienic practices but at a later date. Our priority now will be to create infrastructure so that no one will have to go for a public defecation and things like that,” the minister added.