Bihar takes new route for Swachh Bharat catch-up

Individual houses to get incentivesto build toilets
Four years into the Swachh Bharat programme, Bihar has finally given up on a model of only allowing community-based incentives for toilet construction. Two weeks ago, the State switched to allowing individual household-based incentives, according to Parameswaran Iyer, Secretary of the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
His department is responsible for the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan-Grameen, which aims to end the practice of open defecation in rural India. With just over a year to go for the October 2, 2019, deadline to become open defecation free (ODF), Bihar is the second worst performing State, lagging behind with almost 66% coverage. Only Odisha, with 62.5% coverage, fares worse.
“Earlier, in Bihar, the whole village needed to be declared ODF. Only then was the compensation given,” explained Mr. Iyer on the sidelines of a press briefing on Thursday. “Now, whenever you build your own toilet, you get paid.”
Under the Swachh Bharat programme, States were given freedom to tweak the way the scheme was implemented. Every household building a toilet was eligible for an incentive of Rs. 12,000. Some States paid the incentive only when the construction was over, while others paid it in parts during various stages of construction.
Several States also used neighbourhood peer pressure to increase the speed of toilet construction, by declaring that no one would get paid until the entire village was declared ODF.
Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/bihar-takes-new-route-for-swachh-bharat-catch-up/article24897804.ece

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