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Swachh Bharat Mission: Opportunities for Goa

INTRODUCTION

On October 2, 2014, Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) was launched by the Prime Minister of India, to speed up the efforts in India's sanitation sector. Prior to this, a number of initiatives integrating water and sanitation were introduced including the Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC), in 1986. After realising considerable success the TSC was revamped as the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan in 2012 with the aim of creating clean environment and eradicating open defecation in the country by the year 2022. The SBM however has an ambitious objective of achieving 'Swachh Bharat' specifically by eliminating open defecation by the year 2019 which is the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

SWACHH BHARAT MISSION IN GOA

Coordinated by the Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, SBM has two sub-missions namely, the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) and the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban). Ever since the launch of the SBM, it has received huge momentum and is the largest campaign that has involved participation of stakeholders from various sectors. Implemented as a centrally sponsored scheme, the funding is shared between centre and states. SBM has also besought positive innovation in terms of private sector cooperation for commitment towards toilet construction, providing opportunities to corporates for collaboration with local administration, political leadership and Civil Society Organizations in making Swachh Bharat a successful reality. In the environmentally sensitive coastal tourist State of Goa, SBM provides tremendous opportunities to the much required leap in sanitation sector. Goa, the fourth smallest state in the country with 1.45 million population living on a total area of 3702 kms, is also among the richest states (having highest per capita National State Domestic Product). Hence, it is crucial the state thrusts a strong focus on the improvement and sustenance of environmental sanitation and hygiene that would directly benefit its tourism industry which is a major contributor of economic growth.

Currently, the toilet coverage in the state is 76.08 per cent, with 28637 toilets constructed since the launch of the SBM in October, 2014. SBM has brought about 15.36 percentage increase in household toilets. Improvement in sewerage management is also vital for Goa, particularly considering the sandy formations in the coastal regions, the high tourist inflows, and the over dependence on septic tanks, soak pits that have a direct adverse impact on the ground water resources of the state. The solid waste generation is around 400 Metric tons per Day for the entire state and there is great potential for improvements in solid waste management although efforts are already improving. The Governor of Goa, Ms. Mridula Sinha an ambassador to the SBM has put a thrust on inculcating clean habits among children, stressed upon concerted efforts on Information Education and Communication activities and has adopted a multi stakeholder approach to achieve the objectives of SBM. She has also initiated the adoption of five towns namely Panaji, Margao, Mapusa, Ponda and Vasco to accelerate the SBM (Urban) goals.

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