Budget 2014: The clean budget

So, in the past week we’ve seen the government roll out its maiden budget along with the railway budget.
Planning a good budget is the first step towards achieving a goal. This holds true for a household, an organization and a country alike. A budget has many implications, other than the obvious financial ones. It speaks volumes of the government’s intentions and has a ripple effect on the economy. Hence, this budget is important for it reflects the agenda of the new government for this financial year.

3s, of course, looked closely at how both the budgets could deliver on sanitation for India:

1. The key takeaway from this Railway Budget is a 40% budget increase for cleanliness

indian_railways_network_connectivity_map_with_cities_and_population_density

a. With fresh infuses of capital; the railways could invest in the much required modern technology, such as vacuum flushing for restrooms
b. This system can further be strengthened by investing in the requisite infrastructure to evacuate and dispose of waste like in aircrafts
c. All platforms and railway lines can be converted to ‘zero discharge’ zones
d. Waste management can be outsourced to private companies that apply new technologies that are at par with the international standards

2. Budget 2014 has allotted a substantial amount for sanitation

a. The amount, from an urban perspective, should be utilised for
i. Standardisation of toilets
ii. Latest application of cleaning methodology
iii. Waste disposal
iv. Treatment and recycling of this waste water for agriculture or even construction applications

b. A substantial amount should be put aside for temporary sanitation and proper waste management for
i. Large religious gatherings whether it is the palkhis or Kumbh Mela
ii. Other events & public gatherings
iii. Disaster management in case of natural calamities

c. On the rural front the amount should be used for
i. A complete solution in villages to create standards for toilets in houses and communities
ii. Shared toilets with proper waste disposal either through planned septage management or sewerage systems
iii. The treatment of the waste water to make it reusable in farms and drought affected regions

d. ‘Beti Bachao’ (save the girl child) & ‘Beti Padhao’ (educate the girl child) schemes can increase the efforts to provide sanitation arrangements for women in public places

If sanitation budget can be utilized for the above mentioned measures then we will save billions of litres of water, reduce droughts and above all, create a sustainable ecosystem