Next Phase of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan - Seeker's Thoughts

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Next Phase of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan

Ideally, domestic waste should be collected within 12 hours’ intervals every day. If kept beyond 24 hours, it generates unpleasant odours and attracts flies. Beyond 48 hours it begins to sink and after 72 hours the formation of maggots take place which is the prime reason for the nuisance of domestic flies in and outside homes. Thus to achieve 100% zero waste-collecting garbage every 12 hours is strongly suggested to all concerned.

For the last five years, ever since the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan was launched on Gandhi Jayanti in 2014, its main focus has been on eliminating open defecation by constructing toilets and promoting their usage through widespread behavioral change programmes. 

With the October 2, 2019 deadline looming near, and the original goal almost achieved according to government data. Now the mission is moving on the next phase.

What will be the next phase?

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has included the prevalence of plastic litter and water-logging in villages as indicators of cleanliness in its 2019 rural survey.

What are waste management’s rules in India?

Waste management rules in India are based on the principles of “sustainable development”, “precaution” and “polluter pays”. 

These principles mandate municipalities and commercial establishments to act in an environmentally accountable and responsible manner – restoring balance if their actions disrupt it.

The increase in a waste generation as a by-product of economic development has led to various subordinate legislation for regulating the manner of disposal and dealing with generated waste are made under the umbrella law of Environment protection Act, 1986.

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What is the current condition of solid and liquid waste in rural areas?

At present, there is no collection and disposal mechanism. There is no infrastructure to collect the transport the waste and there is no specified location for the waste.

Majority of the respondents dump their biodegradable waste and non-biodegradable waste in the dustbin which is ultimately thrown in the open fields. 

A very less proportion of households dispose of bio-degradable waste in a safe manner. Safe disposal of bio-degradable waste includes disposing of solid waste in an identified place, composting, burying reusing in the garden.

As far as the volume of waste generated is concerned, there is no specific measured data that is available.

Accumulation of waste at open spaces, street sides/drains, leading to environmental degradation. Unhygienic conditions prevailing in the area leading to various health and sanitation-related diseases.

Unhygienic conditions prevailing in the areas leading to various health and sanitation related diseases.

About Existing Liquid waste management system

Currently, there is a very inconsistent drainage system present in the rural area. A majority of the households as inferred from the baseline data discharge the waste from the households to be released onto public streets/broken storm water drains. 
Due to flow of waste water into public areas, it has become a major source of bad odour, disease in most ever urban areas.

In the absence of systematic liquid waste handling methods. Following issues are being faced:

-       From few houses, the waste, the waste water flows directly into the streets which is leading to puddles forming in front of the households.

-       The discharge from the toilets/bathrooms are mostly let on the storm water drains which are either broken or choked.

-       The waste water gets collected at various points of the village due to non-functioning drains and blockage in it at different points.

How the mission Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is going to work on to its next phase?

Open defecation plus will have four main verticals – solid waste management divided into biodegradable waste and plastic waste, and liquid waste management divided into grey water, or kitchen waste water, and faecal waste.

According to the Jal Shakti Minister they are working on some specific protocols for the different modules. Currently there is no mechanism for plastic waste collection or waste disposal in most villages.

The protocol for plastic waste would call for bans on single use plastic, as well as the collection and sorting of waste at the block level.

If possible, plastic waste would be sent for recycling, or baled and shredded. There are also proposals to use it in cement plants and bricks kilns. There is potentially a profitable market available for this waste if handled correctly.
What village based survey shows?

The survey sums to cover 18,000 samples village- approximately 30 per rural district – and take feedback from over 2.5 crore villagers. In fact, citizen feedback will account for 35% of the ranking of districts. 

Another 30% weightage is being given to direct observations by surveyors from third party Ipsos, who will look at the prevalence of plastic litter and water-logging as well as the availability and usage of toilets. The remaining 35% will be drawn from service level progress measuring the final activities of the original Swachh Bharat mission.

The survey will be conducted in the field from August 14 to September 2, final results will be announced on October 2, 2019.

 What is Swachh Bharat Abhiyan?

 On 2nd October 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced to clean India by 2019.  This was launched on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. 

The aim was to start a nationwide initiative aimed to inspire the public to voluntarily cleaning the public spaces.  

The filth in the nation was affecting tourism and health. So, the clean India could provide job to poor due to tourism, It was intended. Huge publicity was done, and it included various celebrities as well. 

As a result, municipalities began to employ more contractual labour.

It also led to the door to door garbage collection, and workers were expected to whistle to inform about garbage collection. Workers collect the waste and manually segregate the waste at landfill which has consequences of hygiene and health. 

Previously door to door service was taken down in 1993 when workers used to collect latrine from door to door. 

Conclusion - The campaign was not based on labourer who are burdened with exclusive right to clean the country, it was to bring the change in social habits of people. Country needs to make this sanitation drive of minds too where caste can be the cause of humiliation. 
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