CSE welcomes new State Septage Management Policy introduced by the government of Uttar Pradesh

Delhi based Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) welcomes the Uttar Pradesh government’s recent initiative in introducing the five year (2019-23) Uttar Pradesh State Septage Management Policy. The new policy came into effect through a Government Order dated October 30, 2019. Says Suresh Rohilla, senior director-water and wastewater management, CSE: “CSE has been working closely with the UP government and its agencies to introduce effective Septage management in the cities and towns of the state, in an effort to control and prevent pollution and safeguard public health. The new policy introduced by the state is a step in the right direction and an affirmation of the work that we are doing together.”The policy has been drafted keeping in mind the National Urban Sanitation Policy 2008, National Policy on Faecal Sludge and Septage Management 2017, Swachch Bharat Mission Guidelines, Standard Operating Procedures for Cleaning of Sewers and Septic Tank and the Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act of 2013.Background: What the policy aims for UP has 652 urban local bodies (ULBs), holding a population of 49 million. Out of these, a majority — 610 ULBs — are completely dependent on onsite sanitation systems. UP’s existing sewage treatment plants have a capacity to treat 3,298.84 million litre daily (MLD); an additional 1,281.33 MLD capacity is under construction. The state has 7.2 million (72 lakh) online sanitation systems, accounting for the generation of 5,558 MLD of wastewater and 13.7 MLD of septage. Says Rohilla: “The policy will aim to achieve a reduction in the pollution load by treating and managing these massive amounts of wastewater and septage.”Rohilla adds: “In the existing scenario, septic tanks in cities usually do not get emptied regularly. The wastewater and septage in them ends up polluting our drains and rivers. More often than not, these tanks are emptied by untrained private operators who discharge the contents of the tanks in open fields, farmlands, drains and water bodies. In such a scenario, this policy was a dire need for the state.”The policy aims to make a real difference in the state of affairs by 2023. It proposes levying a ‘Septage fees’ as part of the property tax from households that are not connected to a city’s sewerage network, and hence, not paying the sewerage tax.CSE has entered into a partnership with the Department of Urban Development (DoUD), government of Uttar Pradesh, for supporting effective Septage management in the state. In 2018, CSE conducted a study of excreta management in 66 cities of the state. The study highlighted the lack of effective Septage management in UP.CSE has set up a programme support unit in Lucknow to support, facilitate and hand-hold state and city-level agencies in planning, creating and operating guidelines and enabling frameworks, as well as designing and executing Faecal Sludge and Septage Management (FSSM) practices in cities across the state. CSE is also helping build capacity of state and ULB functionaries through targeted research and training.Rahul Mankotia, programme manager-water, CSE says the centre has initiated projects such as setting up a faecal sludge treatment system in Chunar, co-treatment facilities in Bharwara, etc. A ‘Forum of Cities that Manage Septage’ has also been set up for sharing of knowledge and best practices.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *