Exposure visit to showcase “City Wide Inclusive Sanitation” approach in Tamil Nadu

Date: Jan. 17 - 20, 2023
Place: Trichy and Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu

Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) is providing technical support to the state of Uttar Pradesh in its goals under Faecal Sludge Septage Management (FSSM) in vision of achieving SDG 6. CSE collaborated with Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) Trichy, to organize a 3 day exposure visit to showcase “City Wide Inclusive Sanitation” approach in Tamil Nadu. CSE in close consultation with Department of Urban Development and National Mission for Clean Ganga identified the officials from frontrunner FSM ULBs to be sent to the exposure visit.

Day 1 started with the brief introduction exercise and setting the context of FSSM by Subrata Chakraborty, CSE and CWIS work in Tamil Nadu by NiladriChakraborti, Team Lead-CWIS, IIHS. In the first half, participants were taken to visit On-site treatment systems at Kodappu to understand the working principles of different types of chlorine disinfection systems, RCC circular septic tank as an affordable model for urban poor. It was followed by visit to decanting station at Anna Stadium. Here participants understood the basics of co-treatment and the function of the various treatment facilities, including the decanting station at Main Pumping Station. Participants were explained about the interventions at the decanting station-its design, technology and monitoring. In the second half,participants travelled to Thuraiyur city to visit 20 KLD Gravity based FSTP. The plant operator explained about the treatment units, cluster approach taken and also clarified the doubts of participants. On the way to the FSTP, the participants also visited improved septic tank in inclusive Community toilet at RMS Colony. The community toilet was designed keeping the requirements in mind of women, men, children and disabled people and learned about the importance of proper containment structures and the interventions, outlining how the issues were identified and the structure was improved using the adoptedtechnology that ultimately improved the outlet parameters results.

Day 2started with the debriefing of previous day and context setting of work around inclusion within the scope of CWIS. Participants met the Municipal Commissioner, Trichy at Trichy City Corporation office. The Municipal Commissioner gave the overview of various work being done and initiatives taken by the Trichy City Corporation to streamline sanitation services in the city. Participants, led byMs. Sugantha Priscilla, Senior Specialist, IIHS visitedGaneshapuram area to meet women Self Help Group (SHG) members, Sanitation workers and informal sanitation workers. The SHG member and workers shared about improvement in access to the various benefits like occupational ID cards, social security and welfare schemes, skill development training etc. Participants got an overarching understanding of different types of sanitation workers across the chain, their working arrangements, and the operationalization of different initiatives underway with a focus on livelihoods and welfare, especially for informal workers. The discussion with the SHG members gave the participants an idea as to how to converge various scheme-benefits for the SHGs.

On day 3, participants travelled to PeriyaNayakkanPalayam city from Coimbatore. At first, participants interacted with the women’s enterprise and understood impact of the initiative in their livelihoods. The IIHS team members explained the full chain between how women-led enterprise groups are formed, how they are linked to markets, and how they are empowered through sanitation-based livelihoods.Up next, participants visited 25 KLD mechanized FSTP. Based on cluster approach, the plant caters to 5nearby Urban Local Bodies. The operator explained the treatment units and functioning of the plant in detail. After the visit, a closing session was help in which participants shared their experience and learning from the visit. Overall, it was a fruitful visit and concluded with a high note with excellent feedback from the participants.

Couple of important things we have learnt from Tamil Nadu:

  • Proper planning at the state level as the first step for prioritizing the intervention
  • Equal importance should be given to all the components of sanitation service chain
  • Proper O&M and sustainability of the FSSM infrastructure is the key to achieve CWIS
  • Strong community engagement for building sense of ownership and sustainability of infrastructure
  • Partnership with women’s SHG group, forming SHE team,focus on their capacity building and providing benefits of social welfare schemes
  • Identification of informal sanitation workers, providing occupational ID cards and access to social security and welfare schemes
  • Focus on community toilets and institutional building to ensure septage at the treatment facilities 



List of Participants
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TN visit reference booklet
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Reference reading material
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