Swachh Bharat Abhiyan

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Swachh Bharat Abhiyan

About Swachh Bharat Mission

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched his dream project "Swachh Bharat Abhiyan" on 2nd October 2014, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan or the "Clean India Campaign" is the biggest ever cleanliness drive in the country and Prime Minister had appealed to each Indian to get involved in the mission and make it a success.

Why this project started?

It is very sad to say that the country has a massive problem of open defecation. More than 72 percent of rural people in India respond to their nature's call behind bushes, in fields or on roadsides. This has led to various other problems like untimely deaths of children, spread of infections and diseases and most importantly rapes of young girls who go to deserted places to relieve themselves. India has a population of more 1.2 billion people, out of which nearly 600 million people or 55 percent has no access to toilets. Even in areas, where there are toilets in rural India (32 percent of rural households, as per the 2012 data), there are no running water facilities available. Slum dwellers in cities have no access to running water supply and also toilets.

Considering this grave problem of rural sanitation in India and open defecation, the then UPA Government had launched Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan in 1999. In this Abhiyan, a target was set for universal household sanitation coverage by 2012. This was an integral part of the Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) launched in 1991. However, the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan could not achieve its objectives.

Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan has now been restructured by the present Government as "Swachh Bharat Abhiyan" with the objective of making India a "clean" India by stopping the problem of open defecation, building up of toilets for all households, providing running water supply, treating of solid and liquid wastes in a proper manner. This drive also includes cleaning of roads, pavements, and clearing of encroachments in unauthorised areas. Above all, the project aims at creating awareness among people about the need for proper sanitation and hygienic facilities.

When it will be completed?

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, with the help of the Government of India, political parties, NGOs, corporations and with active people's participation, is slated to be completed in 2019. It was Mahatma Gandhi who laid great emphasis on cleanliness. He himself said "Sanitation is more important than Independence". He wanted India to be a clean India. He very well had a clear understanding of the pathetic condition of the rural people. It's been 67 years of Independence, and even today, more than half of India's population does not have proper toilets. Considering this fact in mind, the present Government of India wants to fulfil the dream of Mahatma Gandhi and usher a clean India by 2019, which will mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Efforts by Government

For proper execution of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, a 19-member expert team has been formed under the chairmanship of scientist Raghunath Anant Mashelkar. Mashelkar is the former director general of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). The entire team will be involved to suggest the best and the most advanced technology to provide sanitation and water facilities in various states using methods that are affordable, sustainable, and scalable.

On 2nd October 2014, when our PM launched the mission, he was accompanied by party officials, Bollywood actor Aamir Khan, thousands of government employees, school and college students. Prime Minister has been actively supported by his cabinet ministers. To make it a mass movement, he also nominated nine celebrities including Priyanka Chopra, Shashi Tharoor, Sachin Tendulkar and Anil Ambani to take up the cleanliness challenge, who in turn should invite nine more people and in this way the chain should continue. They have already accepted the challenge and have appealed more people to get involved. Some states have also participated in this cleaning campaign and more plans and programs are in the process to make this a success.

Implementation of Project

The "Swachh Bharat Abhiyan" has two sub missions:
  • Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (rural)
  • Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (urban).

For execution of these two sub-missions, the ministries of drinking water and sanitation and rural development will look after the affairs in rural areas and the ministry of urban development in urban areas.

Under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan for the rural areas, the ministry of rural development will provide Rs 20 lakh to each village each year for the next five years. Under this programme, the government has fixed the unit cost of individual household latrines at Rs 12,000 so that ample water supply can be provided for cleaning, bathing and washing. An estimated Rs 1, 34, 000 crore will be spent by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation for the programme.

For Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in the urban sector, the aim is to provide individual household toilets, community and public toilets, including solid waste management, covering 1.04 crore households in all 4,041 statutory towns. It will provide more than two lakh seats of public toilets, and more than two lakh seats of community toilets, including solid waste management facility for all towns. In areas, where there are problems of constructing individual household toilets, community toilets will be constructed. Public toilet facilities will also be made available in common locations such as markets, bus stations, near railway stations, tourist spots, and public recreation places. The urban development ministry has allocated Rs 62,000 crore for this project.

The overall project cost has been estimated at Rs 1, 96,009 crore. This amount will help in construction of 12 crore toilets across the country. The ministries of rural and urban development have requested religious gurus and groups like Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, and the Gayatri Parivar to propagate the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan project.

Major Issues of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan

  • According to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Urban India generates about 47 million tonnes of solid waste every year. It is also reported that more than 75 percent of sewage or wastewater disposal is not treated in India. Recycling solid waste is a big problem. These issues need to be addressed now, so that a major crisis can be prevented in the future.
  • In rural India, lack of adequate sanitation is a huge challenge.
  • Another major challenge is to change the mindsets of the people. When will our countrymen learn not to spit or throw garbage on the roads? Or when will our people learn to keep themselves and their localities clean?

The dimensions of the problem of sanitation are so huge that it makes us wonder whether the PM will really be able to meet his target to clean up India by 2019 or not?


While Prime Minister's Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has been highly acclaimed by many in India and abroad, there are still controversies involved in the mission. Similar programmes were launched earlier with little or no success, the most evident example being Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan. Controversies have come up because this programme too has more or less same ideas that were under UPA's Nirmal Bharat schemes. Huge amount of money was invested for that program that time. What was the outcome? Where did all the money go? But, as a matter of fact, this mission should not be involved in any kind of controversies. That is why, Narendra Modi said, "Swachh Bharat" mission is "beyond politics" and is inspired by patriotism.


Mere launching a program is not enough, results matter. It is not only the Government who can make it a success, people's participation is of utmost importance. Also, a detailed blue print should be prepared for implementing the programme. India will definitely be a clean country in coming years provided the Government and the people participate in this Swachh Bharat Mission in a holistic manner.

Swachh Bharat Mission: Facts and Figures

  • Project Cost: Rs. 1,96,009 crore
  • Project Start Date: 2nd October 2014
  • Project Estimated End Date: 2nd October 2019
  • Ministries Involved in Project: Ministry of rural development, ministry of urban development, ministry of drinking water and sanitation, Public Sector Undertakings ( PSUs), corporations, NGOs, state governments etc.
  • Purpose of Project: To make India a filth-free country in five years, to construct community and public toilets in rural and urban areas, to provide running water supply, to treat waste water, to keep roads, pavements and localities clean etc.

  • List of 73 Cleanest Cities in India

    Sl. No.CityRankStateSl. No.CityRankState
    2Chandigarh1716Chandigarh39Delhi - SDMC1180Delhi
    3Tiruchirappalli1715Tamil Nadu40Thiruvananthapuram1167Kerala
    4Delhi - NDMC1704Delhi41Aizawl1138Mizoram
    5Visakhapatnam1643Andhra Pradesh42Gandhinagar1133Gujarat
    6Surat1605Gujarat43Delhi - North DMC1132Delhi
    8Gangtok1565Sikkim45Kanpur1090Uttar Pradesh
    9Pimpri Chinchwad1559Maharashtra46Durg1089Chhattisgarh
    10Greater Mumbai1534Maharashtra47Agra1081Uttar Pradesh
    12Navi Mumbai1530Maharashtra49Amritsar1062Punjab
    15Imphal1441Manipur52Delhi - EDMC1015Delhi
    17Thane1367Maharashtra54Hubli and Dharwad city992Karnataka
    18Coimbatore1361Tamil Nadu55Kochi990Kerala
    21Bhopal1336Madhya Pradesh58Kota954Rajasthan
    22Allahabad1323Uttar Pradesh59Cuttack925Odisha
    23Vijayawada1284Andhra Pradesh60Kohima893Nagaland
    25Indore1276Madhya Pradesh62Ranchi874Jharkhand
    26Madurai1245Tamil Nadu63Jabalpur872Madhya Pradesh
    27Shimla1244Himachal64Kalyan Dombivli858Maharashtra
    28Lucknow1237Uttar Pradesh65Varanasi839Uttar Pradesh
    30Gwalior1235Madhya Pradesh67Ghaziabad820Uttar Pradesh
    32Warangal1226Telangana69Meerut760Uttar Pradesh
    34Ludhiana1222Punjab71Itanagar639Arunachal Pradesh
    35Vasai - Virar1215Maharashtra72Asansol497West Bengal
    37Chennai1194Tamil Nadu   

    Blogs about Swachh Bharat Mission

    Last Updated on : February 17, 2016

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