A CAG report tabled in the Delhi Assembly on Tuesday slammed the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government for not constructing a single toilet under the Swachh Bharat Scheme since its inception in October 2, 2014. The report poses a question over Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) election promise of constructing two lakh toilets in Delhi. That around Rs 40 crore released for making toilets under the Mission remains unutilised shows the Delhi government did not give "adequate importance" to the Swachh Bharat Mission Scheme, says the report.
The Comptroller and Auditor General's (CAG) report named 'Social, General and Economic Sectors (Non-Public Sector Undertakings)' for the year 2016-17 says not a single toilet was constructed under the mission in two and half years since the inception of the Swachh Bharat mission.
The Centre had launched the Swachh Bharat Mission on October 2, 2014, with 25 per cent state share to improve sanitation and cleanliness in the country. Experts say the Modi government's vision to eliminate open defecation by October 2, 2019, could remain just a dream if similar trend is seen in other states as well.
As per Census-2011 extrapolated to 2019, Delhi needed 1,27,005 household toilets, 2,357 community toilets and 9,157 public toilets whereas the Delhi government assessed only 11,117 household toilets, 25,097 community toilets and 605 public toilets to be constructed under the Mission up to October 2019, says the report. The question that the Kejriwal government needs to answer is why the funds were not used if there is a requirement of over 1.7 lakh toilets in the national capital.
The report says not a single toilet was constructed by any of the six implementing agencies till March 31, 2017, even though the centre released Rs 30.23 crore. Also, the beneficiaries of unauthorised colonies were even not considered for construction of household toilets, which means most of habitats known for lack of toilet facilities were excluded.
Here are some findings of the CAG report.
Delay in release of funds
The Delhi government received Rs 2.26 crore in March 2015 and Rs 27.97 crore in November 2015 from the centre for construction of toilets. It released Rs 40.31 crore to the implementing agencies, including the state share of Rs 10.08 crore in January 2016, i.e. after two to ten months of receiving funds from the Centre. "As per the guidelines, funds were to be released to ULBs within 30 days of receipt of the central share along with state share," says the report. The CAG noted that due to delay in disbursal of fund to the implementing agencies, no amount of the Mission funds was used in 2015-16.
Agencies didn't utilise funds
The audit report says the implementing agencies received total Rs 40.31 crore under the Mission and the entire fund remained unutilised as of March 2017. "DUSIB (Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board) refunded the entire amount of Rs 6.86 crore of the Mission funds to the Delhi government in April 2017 whereas funds given to other implementing agencies were lying idle in their saving bank accounts," says the report. DUSIB told the CAG it returned Rs 6.86 crore as additional state share demanded was not provided.
Funds not allocated as required
The Delhi government did not allocate the Mission funds as per the requirement of the agencies. "North DMC, South DMC, and DCB did not assess the requirement of household toilets but Mission funds worth Rs 16.92 crore were released for household toilets. North DMC and DUSIB assessed the requirement of 8,886 and 16,050 community toilets for which they requested (September 2015) Rs 23.10 crore and Rs 41.49 crore, respectively. North DMC, however, did not receive any funds for community toilets and DUSIB received only Rs 6.86 crore. NDMC projected construction of 156 community toilets but it did not receive any funds," says the report.
DUSIB didn't get state share
DUSIB was responsible to make slums and JJ clusters open defecation free by implementing the Mission. For this, DUSIB received Rs 6.86 crore, including state share of Rs 1.71 crore, against Rs 41.49 crore required by them. Later, in July 2016, the Centre enhanced the basic unit cost of community toilets from Rs 65,000 to Rs 98,000 and also reduced the central share from 75 per cent to 40 per cent. Thus, the state was to bear 60 per cent of the cost of construction of community toilets. Though DUSIB followed up with the government for the state share (60 per cent), the Delhi government did not release the funds during 2016-17. Therefore, DUSIB refunded the entire fund of Rs 6.86 crore.