Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State (I/C) for Housing & Urban Affairs emphasised on the importance of behavioural change in people and participation of private sector as critical to the success of the ambitious Swachh Bharat Mission that the country has embarked upon. He was speaking at the India Sanitation Conclave 2018 organised by FICCI here today. He exhorted the private sector to play an active role at grassroots level in effecting behavioural change in people like maintaining and using toilets. He said that the Swachh Bharat Mission has shown unprecedented momentum after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s clarion call for ‘Swachhta’ from the ramparts of Red Fort in 2014. He expressed happiness that the flagship scheme has become a mass revolution and has truly acquired the dimensions of a ‘Jan Andolan’.Underlining the efforts of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs(MoHUA) in the domain of Urban Sanitation, he said as of April 2018, there are 2050 ODF Cities with 100% door to door waste collection being practiced in 51,734 wards and around 47 lakh units of individual household latrines and 3.19 lakh seats of community and public toilets built as of March, 2018.
He said that to foster a healthy competition between cities for improving cleanliness standards, MoHUA has been conducting Swachh Survekshan surveys which has grown from survey of 73 cities in 2016 to 4023 cities /towns in the latest round of Swachh Survekshan conducted from 4 January to 10 March 2018.Sh. Puri also mentioned the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out by the United Nations to be achieved by 2030, particularly the SDG 6 - Ensure access and sanitation for All. He said that achievement of the SDGs will be achieved mainly through the collective efforts of all which are effectively supplemented by the programs being implemented by the Government such as the Swachh Bharat Mission.He congratulated the India Sanitation Coalition for bringing the private and public sector together and enabling cross learning and facilitating more effective actions for sustainable intervention in the WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) space. He also presented the ISC - FICCI Sanitation awards 2018 to individuals and institutions in various categories for their commendable work and efforts in the Sanitation sector.