More than 500 lakh toilets have been constructed in the country under the Swachh Bharat Mission, the government informed the Rajya Sabha on Monday.
Ramesh Chandappa Jigajinagi, Minister of State for Drinking Water and Sanitation told the Upper House that 561.75 lakh toilets were built under the Swachh Bharat Mission (rural).
Nearly 29.08 lakh toilets were constructed under the MGNREGA and seven states/UTs were declared Open Defecation Free (ODF), said Jigajinagi.
The government, in a written reply, said the Swachh Bharat Mission was a demand-driven scheme and hence state-wise funds were not allocated.
Jigajinagi said states/UTs had to first furnish details of utilised and unutilised funds for the release of central funds under the Mission. He provided the Upper House with a list of the state-wise share of central funding and utilisation during the last three years and the current year.
While replying on funds allotted to and utilised by Jharkhand and Gujarat for the year 2017-18, the ministry said the former had utilised Rs 239.46 crores of the Rs 669.60 crores released by the Centre.
Gujarat, however, spent Rs 273.60 crores under the scheme while it received Rs 252.94 crores from the Centre, it added.
Jigajinagi also said the ministry regularly monitored the implementation of the Mission through review meetings with the states.
“The ministry has developed a comprehensive system of monitoring the programme through periodic visits by ministry officials and union ministers,” he said.
Online monitoring had been strengthened and transparency increased in the implementation of the Mission by making all data, including the names and addresses of the beneficiaries, available in the public domain, added the minister.
(With PTI inputs)