Managing urban sanitation efficiently – CSE makes a start with Chunar town in Uttar Pradesh

Releases Strategy and Operative Guidelines on Faecal Sludge and Septage Management for the town 

The Guidelines establish the linkage between urban sanitation and river pollution – provide a blueprint that can be followed by other cities in India 

New Delhi, March 31, 2020: “Every city in India should have a city-owned action plan, developed with proper stakeholder engagement, for effective faecal sludge and sanitation management. Our work does not end with simply building treatment plants,” said Suresh Rohilla, senior director, water and wastewater management, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), releasing CSE’s new publication on urban sanitation management here today. 

Strategy-cum-Operative Guidelines on FSSM in Chunar (

offers a comprehensive actionable agenda with a timeline for the town of Chunar in Uttar Pradesh’s Mirzapur district. Chunar lies in the basin of the river Ganga. In the absence of an underground sewerage network, the town is almost completely dependent on onsite sanitation systems like septic tanks and pit latrines. These systems need frequent emptying and safe management of the faecal sludge produced over time. 

Says Rohilla: “With 70 per cent of the town dependent on septic tanks and pit latrines, and 100 per cent of the faecal sludge produced by it being disposed untreated into land and water bodies, Chunar offered us an opportunity to study the problem of faecal sludge and septage management (FSSM) in such towns, and come up with an agenda for action. CSE selected Chunar and Bijnore in the Ganga basin for providing technical support to mainstream FSSM for improved city-wide sanitation.” 

Rohilla adds: “CSE’s work in the two cities also helps in understanding the linkages between urban sanitation and river pollution abatement. The National Green Tribunal has noted that Chunar’s lack of proper sanitation management is the primary cause behind the severe pollution levels in the stretch of the Ganga that flows near the town.” 

According to Bhitush Luthra, programme manager, water and wastewater management, CSE: “The Guidelines for Chunar ensures that there are improvements across the urban sanitation value chain – containment, emptying, disposal, treatment and reuse/recycle, together with river pollution abatement.” 

CSE has set up a Technical Support Unit (TSU) in Chunar to support, facilitate and handhold city-level agencies in planning, creating operating guidelines and enabling frameworks, as well as designing and executing FSSM practices. CSE is also the technical support partner for an upcoming 10-kilolitre Faecal Sludge Treatment Plant (FSTP) in the town. This is the first FSTP fully funded by the National Mission for Clean Ganga – it is expected to get commissioned in June 2020. 

Says Luthra: “CSE is also building the capacities of city officials, decision makers and other stakeholders involved in the implementation of the city sanitation programme. This includes conducting field exposure visits for officials to explore good management practices.” 

Rohilla adds: “Chunar will act a model learning centre for other urban local bodies in planning, designing and implementation of interventions across the sanitation chain in river basin states.”  

For the Hindi version of this press release, please click here 

For more information on the guideline and CSE’s work in Chunar: 

For more on this or for interviews etc: Sukanya Nair of The CSE Media Resource Centre,, 88168 18864.