Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship programme of ‘Swachchh Bharat’, which was launched on October 2, 2014, is struggling in Uttar Pradesh as against the daily generation of over 15,000 MT of solid waste, only 30 per cent is being processed and recycled while the rest is being despatched to landfill sites, rivers, nullahs, water bodies and agriculture land.
Same is the state of close to a dozen solid waste management plants set up under Jawaharlal Lal Urban Renewal Mission in big cities of the state during the Bahujan Samaj party regime (May 2007- March, 2012). These solid waste management plants are either defunct or working far below their installed capacity to recycle garbage from cities of the state.
Swachh Bharat campaign aimed at eradication of open defecation by the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on October 2, 2019, by constructing 90 million toilets in rural India at a projected cost of Rs 1.96 lakh crore.
Urban Development Minister Suresh Khanna told mediapersons in Lucknow on Tuesday that all solid waste management plants were functional and admitted that the Lucknow plant was working below capacity. He said that the national average of recycling or processing of solid waste was 35 per cent while it was 30 per cent in UP.
Khanna claimed that the sanitation programme in Uttar Pradesh achieved spectacular success under the Yogi government as out of total 653 Urban Local Bodies (ULB), 630 were declared as Open Defecation Free (ODF). He said that over 7 lakh toilets were constructed after the Yogi government came to power in March 2017, over 1.41 lakh toilets were being constructed and 22,900 community toilets were also built. Khanna added that in 653 ULBs, there were total 12,007 municipal wards and door-to-door collection of garbage was being done in over 7,000 wards. He claimed that each ULB had been provided dustbins to prevent littering of garbage.
“In the national sanitation survey in 2017, of the 434 cities, as many as 50 cities from UP figured in the worst 100 cities. But in 2018, this number came down to zero and four UP cities were declared as most clean cities of India,” he claimed.
A study by Centre for Science and Environment, a public interest research and advocacy outfit in New Delhi, said on Monday that if more toilets and septic tanks were built without sewer systems, it would swamp the State.