Second phase of Swachh Bharat soon: Minister

New Delhi, June 5 (IANS) Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on Wednesday said that the second phase of the Swachh Bharat Mission would be launched soon, with the objective of controlling the menace of liquid and solid waste in rural areas.
Speaking at an event organised by the UNICEF and the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, he said the Swachh Bharat Mission had played great role in making most of the country open defecation free (ODF) since it was launched in 2014.
“Now, it will be ODF Plus. It will take care of the solid waste. A disposal mechanism will be created,” he said.
According to official figures, over 96 per cent of the rural households have been provided toilets so far.
Parameswaran Iyer, Secretary of the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, said the focus in the next phase would be on sustaining the behavioral change that had occurred in the rural population regarding the use of toilets.
An estimated Rs 1 lakh crore has been spent on the Swachh Bharat Mission so far, with the Center taking care of 60 per cent of the expenditure and states pitching in with the remaining 40 per cent.
Reacting to criticism over ‘Namami Gange’ project failing to show results, the Minister said the capacity building programs were underway and visible changes will be seen in the next two years.

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