Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that more than 95 per cent of Indian cities have been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF).

Budget 2019 Swachh Bharat Mission to focus on rural solid waste management
Money Budget Friday, July 05, 2019 - 16:40

In the first full budget of the second term of the Narendra Modi-led BJP government, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed to undertake sustainable solid waste management in every village in an expansion of the flagship Swachh Bharat Mission. 

Addressing the Parliament, Nirmala Sitharaman listed the achievements of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Mission) launched by the Narendra Modi government and added that more than 95 per cent of Indian cities have been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF).

Presenting the budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, “We have to build on this success. We must not only sustain the behavioural change seen in people but also harness the latest technologies available to transform waste into energy. I now propose to expand the Swachh Bharat Mission to undertake sustainable solid waste management in every village.”

The central government is now targeting safe and scientific disposal of solid and liquid waste in the second phase of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

In the first phase of the mission, 9.6 crore toilets have been constructed while more than 5.6 lakh villages have become Open Defecation Free (ODF), according to the central government. The Economic Survey 2018-19 tabled by the Finance Minister on Thursday also stated that 99.2% of rural India was covered by the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. 

The central government’s cleanliness initiative started in October 2014 as a nation-wide campaign aimed at cleaning up streets, roads and infrastructure of India's cities, towns, and rural areas. One of the objectives of the campaign was to eliminate open defecation. 

“More than 95% of cities have also been declared ODF. More than 45,000 public and community toilets across 1,700 cities have been uploaded on Google maps, covering more than 53% of India’s urban population. Almost 1 crore citizens have downloaded Swachhata App,” the Finance Minister said. 

She also announced that on October 2, 2019, the Rashtriya Swachhta Kendra will be inaugurated at the Gandhi Darshan in Rajghat to mark the occasion of India becoming open defecation free.

Read: Budget 2019: Top 13 announcements by Nirmala Sitharaman


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