NEW DELHI: A nationwide "realtime monitoring" system of toilets constructed under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan will be launched tomorrow, government today said.
The system, aimed at attaining a 100 per cent 'Open Defecation Free India by 2019', is expected to give a big push to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious Clean India campaign, an official release said.
People across the country will be mobilised to check and verify the use of toilets in the rural areas through mobile phones, tablets or iPads and upload the same in case of any discrepancy on the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation website in tune with online citizen monitoring.
"The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation will launch a nationwide real time monitoring of use of toilets from January 2015... Earlier, the monitoring was done only about the construction of toilets, but now the actual use of toilets will be ascertained on a sustained basis," it said.
Moreover, in order to implement the Swachh Bharat Mission in a mission mode, the ministry was being strengthened and around two dozen additional staff including two Joint Secretaries and other officials will soon be appointed for effective implementation and monitoring of Swachh Bharat goals.
An expert committee will also be set up to examine the innovative technologies for toilets and solid and liquid waste management, the release said, adding a national telephonic helpline will also be installed for rural water supply and sanitation.
The Prime Minister launched an ambitious programme in October to make the country free from open defecation in five years spending around Rs two lakh crore.
The Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) aims at attaining a 100 per cent open defecation free India by 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
The main objective of the programme is to bring about an improvement in the general quality of life in the rural areas, by promoting cleanliness, hygiene and eliminating open defecation and accelerate sanitation coverage in rural areas.
The main activities under the mission are incentives for individual household latrines, construction of community sanitary complexes, solid and liquid waste management projects, information education and communication, capacity building, monitoring and evaluation.
According to 2011 Census figures, only 32.7 per cent rural families have access to sanitation facilities in the country whereas the findings of the NSSO 2012 survey reveal that only 40.60 per cent rural households have access to toilets.
The government has enhanced the total assistance for rural household toilet from Rs 10,000 to Rs 12,000.
According to a parliamentary panel report tabled in the Lok Sabha recently, the practice of open defecation in India is due to combination of factors, the most prominent of them being the traditional behavioural pattern and lack of awareness of people about the associated health hazards.
In its report on drinking water and sanitation, the Standing Committee on Rural Development even noted the fact that sanitation is mainly a mindset issue based on socio-cultural issues and habit.