Flush with Funds, but Swachh Mis­sion Kitty Still Un­spent

.₹ 370 cr used from .₹ 1,800 cr to be spent on be­havioural change & ca­pac­ity build­ing

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics - Nidhi.Sharma @times­group.com

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


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