WATER MANAGEMENT, SANITATION, AND HYGIENE
Access to water, and sanitation are basic human rights. Congress promises to address the challenges of water and sanitation through advocacy, technology and legislation.
- Congress promises universal access to potable drinking water. The National Drinking Water Mission will be reviewed and strengthened. Budget allocations will be substantially increased.
- Congress recognises the challenge of water scarcity and promises to create a Ministry of Water to bring all water-related activities and departments under one authority.
- We will pay special attention to access to waterand democratic sharing of water. We will address these issues by focusing on storage in dams and water bodies, replenishing ground water and creating a large participatory programme of water management involving the State Governments, civil society organisations, farmers, other users, Panchayats and Gram Sabhas.
- Congress promises to double the budget allocation for cleaning rivers, including the Ganga. Congress promises to review the current methodology for cleaning rivers and to strengthen efforts by employing the latest advances in science and technology. We will convert the Ganga Action Plan into a People’s Programme and implement the same.
- Congress will review and re-introduce the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA) to ensure universal access to a clean, functioning toilet with water. Instead of chasing numbers, Congress promises that NBA will support the construction of individual toilets (that will be the responsibility of the household) as well as community toilets (that will be the responsibility of pre-qualified NGOs).
- We will implement a comprehensive plan for the treatment and safe disposal of sewage.
- Congress promises to focus on hygiene, including menstrual hygiene, by promoting hand washing, use of disposable tissue paper and low-cost sanitary napkins. Panchayats, Municipalities and NGOs will be supported to install sanitary napkin vending machines in schools, colleges and select public places.
- Congress promises to end the evil of manual scavenging in 3 years. Every manual scavenger will be rehabilitated, re-skilled, provided a job and assured a life of dignity and safety. The Prohibition of Manual Scavenging Act, 2013, will be strictly implemented and any person employing anyone for manual scavenging shall be punished. We will allocate sufficient funds to enable the procurement of machines that will clean sewers and septic tanks, and remove human waste.