Yogi’s UP all set to miss Modi’s cleanliness campaign target

Uttar Pradesh has been one of the filthiest states of India. In the survey of Swachch Bharat Abhiyan, UP’s Gonda turned out to be the dirtiest

Photo courtesy: Twitter
Photo courtesy: Twitter

Biswajeet Banerjee

The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, the much hyped dream project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, may prove to be a failure in Uttar Pradesh as Yogi Government is all set to miss the target of constructing latrines under this campaign in the present fiscal year.

Chief Minister Yogi’s main grievance is that his government does not have enough funds to finance the project.

The government had a target to construct 78.86 lakh latrines in 2017-18. It was decided that 10 lakh latrines would be constructed by beneficiaries themselves, and government resources would be used for the construction of the rest 68.86 lakh latrines.

Panchayati Raj Minister Bhupendra Chaudhry said the Government had only ₹298.76 crore in its kitty. Till December 13, 2017 the government has constructed 24.36 lakh latrines at the cost of ₹292.40 crore. The remaining latrines will be constructed only after we will have funds, he said

This means that government will not be able to construct over 44 lakh toilets this year. But the Panchayati Raj minister said that some funds have been provided through the state government’s supplementary budget, which will enable the government to accomplish the target.

But will this fund be enough to meet the target. “No,” was his terse reply.

This means that UP will not be able to meet the target to construct toilet. “Lagta to aisa hee hai,”(It looks like that), he said.

The sanitation coverage in UP is around 40 per cent, which is lower than the national average of 69.98 per cent. Soon after taking charge of the state, monk-turned chief minister took a pledge to make UP clean. He administered a pledge of cleanliness to officials and asked them to clean up their neighbourhoods and commit 100 hours every year to the cause.

"We will also focus on making Uttar Pradesh open defecation free. We are confident that we will be able to achieve that in the next few years," Yogi Adityanath had said in a press conference in July.

On October 16 this year, the government claimed that six districts out of 75 are Open Defecation Free (ODF). It said 15000 toilets were constructed every day in the districts of Shamli, Bijnor, Ghaziabad, Hapur, Meerut and Gautam Budhh Nagar, Thus, a total of 3,98,000 toilets were constructed making them ODF.

Uttar Pradesh has been one of the filthiest states of India. In the survey of Swachch Bharat Abhiyan, UP’s Gonda turned out to be the dirtiest. Except for the holy city of Varanasi, PM Modi's parliamentary constituency which ranked 32, no other UP city made it to the top 100. Fifty of the 62 of its cities that were surveyed ranked below 300.

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