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Rs 600 crore Swachh Bharat funds unspent this fiscal

Srinagar, Oct 5: The state has failed to spend funds to the tune of Rs 600 crore under Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) this fiscal so far, sources said.

A government of India sponsored-scheme was launched by the Prime Minister (PM), Narinder Modi, on October 2, 2014, and it is to end on the same date in 2019.

In January this year, the data available on Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) dashboard reveals, around 2,02,238 individual household toilets were constructed in rural J&K  since 2014.

From 2015 to 2017, the state’s sanitation coverage has improved only to 40.97 per cent from 20.38 per cent in 2014.

Sources said that despite the huge sums made available by New Delhi, “around 2,000 schools across the state still don’t have the toilet facility”.

In addition, they said, “more than 3,000 government schools, primary as well as higher-secondary, are without proper drinking water facilities”.

It is not for the first time the state government’s sanitation department has failed to spend the funds.

Between October 2, 2014, and February 8, 2018, the state left Rs132.81 crore unspent.

The aim of the scheme is to accelerate the efforts to achieve universal sanitation coverage.

Under the scheme, individual household latrines are to be constructed for every household, while facilities of community sanitary complexes are to be provided in the rural areas.

Director Rural Sanitation, J&K, InduKanwalChib, said they have not compiled the utilisation certificate yet.

“I have no information about the issue. We are consolidating the utilization certificate,” she said.

Governor Satya Pal Malik has declared the state as Open Defecation Free.