National Policy on Faecal Sludge and Septage Management (FSSM)

On 2nd October 2014, the Government of India launched the Swachh Bharat Mission with the aim to achieve a Clean and Open Defecation Free India by 2019. Under this mission, the government plans to construct 1.52 million toilets in rural areas along the Ganga and 1.45 million toilets (private and public toilets) in cities that dot the river banks. This means that by 2019, over 30 million tanks or pits would have been constructed along the Ganga. 

As per an in depth study conducted by CSE, these OSS will be producing 180 MLD of faecal slsudge and septage, which will eventually find its way in the Ganga. To address this issue, the Ministry of Urban Development is committed to helping states and cities in India to make rapid improvements in managing their faecal sludge. 

In order to show commitment to addressing this issue, the National Policy on Faecal Sludge and Septage Management (FSSM) was issued by Ministry of Urban Development in February 2017 with support and inputs from the NFSSM Alliance, where CSE was also a member. 

Key features of the policy are as follows: 

  • State level guidelines, framework, objectives, timelines and implementation plans to address septage management 

  • Formulating strategy on central level to initiate capacity building for training on FSSM

  • Sanitation benchmark framework which shall be used by ULB?s to develop database, registry of certified on site sanitation system and robust reporting format

  • Funding for facilitation of FSSM projects and encouragement to increase public private partnerships (PPP) 

  • Achieving integrated citywide sanitation along with safe disposal

Overall Vision: 

All Indian cities and towns become totally sanitized, healthy and liveable and ensure sustenance of good sanitation practices with improved Onsite Sanitation Services together with faecal sludge and septage management to achieve optimum public health status and maintain clean environment with special focus on the poor. 


  • The key objective of the urban FSSM Policy is to set the context, priorities, and direction for, and to facilitate, nationwide implementation of FSSM services in all ULBs such that safe and sustainable sanitation becomes a reality for all in each and every household, street, town and city. 

  • Ensure that all benefits of wide access to safe sanitation accrue to all citizens across the sanitation value chain with containment, extraction, transportation, treatment, and disposal / re-use of all faecal sludge, septage and other liquid waste and their by-products and end-products. 

  • Suggest and identify ways and means, including the methods and resources, towards creation of an enabling environment for realising safe and sustainable FSSM in India.

  • Define the roles and responsibilities of various government entities and agencies, and of other key stakeholders such as the private sector, civil society organisations and citizens for effective implementation of FSSM services throughout the country.

  • Enable and support synergies among relevant Central Government programs such as SBM, AMRUT and the Smart Cities Mission to realise safe and sustainable sanitation for all at the earliest, possibly by the year 2019.

  • Mitigate gender-based sanitation insecurity directly related to FSSM, reducing the experience of health burdens, structural violence, and promote involvement of both genders in the planning for and design of sanitation infrastructure.

For more information, kindly contact:

Ms. Ridhima Gupta
Programme Officer

Dr Suresh Rohilla
Programme Director