The Centre will begin implementing the second phase of its Swachh Bharat mission in rural areas from April, focusing on solid and liquid waste management and the sustainability of the abolition of open defecation.
On Wednesday, the Union Cabinet approved an allocation of ₹52,497 crore for the scheme from the budget of the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation over the next four years, according to an official statement. The remaining outlay of ₹88,384 crore until 2024-25 will come via a convergence model, depending on funds released under the 15th Finance Commission and money allocated to the rural jobs guarantee scheme, as well as a revenue generation model being developed for solid and liquid waste management.
The Union Budget for 2020-21 had allocated ₹9,994 crore for the first year of the mission’s Phase-II.
The scheme will be implemented by the States, with a fund sharing pattern of 60:40 between the Centre and the States.
In the northeastern and Himalayan states, the Central share will be 90%.
The first phase of the scheme, carried out between 2014 and 2019, focussed on the goal of abolishing open defecation by ensuring that all households had access to a toilet and used it.
According to government data, more than 10 crore toilets were constructed under the scheme and rural areas in all States had declared themselves open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019.
Phase II would continue the provision of a ₹12,000 per household incentive for households which still do not have toilets. “Funding norms for Solid and Liquid Waste Management have been rationalised and changed to per capita basis in place of number of households,” the Centre said in the statement, adding that financial assistance to gram panchayats for construction of community managed sanitary complexes had been increased to ₹3 lakh per complex, from ₹2 lakh.