Flush with Funds, but Swachh Mission Kitty Still Unspent
.₹ 370 cr used from .₹ 1,800 cr to be spent on behavioural change & capacity building
New Delhi: As Narendra Modi government’s cleanliness initiative Swachh Bharat Mission hits the half-way mark of implementation, the Centre is facing a curious problem – the states are building toilets but not encouraging people to use them.
The state governments are required to spend funds under Information education and communication (IEC) and capacity building heads to promote behavior change – a vital component of Swachh Bharat Mission. As per urban development ministry statistics, 40% of the funds ear-marked in 2016-17 for behavioural change are lying unspent. While the mission has reached the half-way mark in terms of mission tenure, official statistics reveal that the utilization of funds for IEC and capacity building stand at a mere 23% of the total funds available. In the entire mission period of five years, .₹ 1800 crore have to be spent on behavioural change and capacity building. So far, about .₹ 370 crore have been spent and a majority of this (38%) has been done by the Centre. A se- nior urban development ministry official told ET, “States have not been spending any money on bringing behavioural change. Under this head they have to make a proper media strategy including radio and television advertisements, ad panels on buses and in public transport, radio jingles and success stories through various media. But most states have not done this despite repeated reminders.”
The reason for ministry’s worry stems from the fact that out of the overall allocation of .₹ 1,800 crore on IEC and capacity building, a majority has been devolved to the states. “We are dependent on state governments to bring about behavioural change. Out of .₹ 1,800 crore, a mere .₹ 355 crore has to be spent by Centre and a whopping .₹ 1,445 crore by the state governments,” said the official.
Mission director Praveen Prakash has also written to the state governments exhorting them to send proposals to initiate behavioural change.
Mission director Praveen Prakash asks states to send proposals to initiate behavioural change