India’s sanitation campaigns have cost 40 times Mars mission budget

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Since 1986, India has spent over $3 billion on constructing toilets across the country, figures from the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation show.

Despite such massive investments, India’s sanitation campaigns over the years have unfortunately yielded limited results. India continues to have the largest number of people who defecate in the open. Even poorer countries in the neighbourhood, such as Bangladesh and Nepal, have improved sanitation coverage faster and surpassed India in the last two decades – by all accounts, at a fraction of the cost.

The Indian government is now gearing up to spend an additional $31 billion (Rs.1.9 lakh crore) over the next five years through the Swachh Bharat mission. But experts warn that it could turn into another money wasting exercise.

Read more in The Hindu, 8th October 2014

Date: 9 October 2014
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India