Uttar Pradesh issues ‘State Septage Management Policy’ (2019-2023)

Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) had entered into a partnership with Department of Urban Development (DoUD), Government of Uttar Pradesh for ‘Support foreffective Septage Management in Uttar Pradesh’ in January 2018.

CSE has set-up a Programme Support Unit (PSU) in Lucknow to support facilitate and handhold state and city-level agencies in planning, creating operating guidelines and enabling frameworks, as well as designing and executing Faecal Sludge and Septage Management (FSSM) practices in cities across the state of Uttar Pradesh.CSE is also supporting state in capacity building of State and ULB functionaries and conducting targeted research.

Last year, CSE conducted a study of excreta management in 66 cities which was release by the Principal Secretary at a State Level Workshop on 22nd October 2018. This study highlighted the lack of effective septage management in the state which has a detrimental impact on public health as well as pollution of water bodies.

CSE is further supportingthe State in mainstreaming effective FSSM through targeted high visibility high impact intervention like FSTP in Chunar, Co-treatment in Bharwara and many other interventions across value chain as well as establishing a‘Forum of Cities those manage Septage’ for effective sharing of knowledge and best practices.

Five Year (Year 2019 – 2023): ‘Uttar Pradesh State Septage Management Policy’was approved at the cabinet meeting dated 22nd October 2019 and issued via Government Order dated 30th October 2019. (copy of the G.O. attached).

The policy has been issued keeping inmind the need for Septage Management to prevent pollution and safeguard public health of the citizens.

The policy has been drafted while keeping in mind, the National Urban Sanitation Policy 2008, National Policy on Faecal Sludge and Septage Management 2017,Swacch Bharat Mission Guidelines, Standard Operating Procedures for Cleaning of Sewers and Septic Tank and Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act 2013. This policy is essential for the state in order to achieve ODF++.

The main objectives of septage management policy include addressing the needs of the urban poor and those desirous for on-site sanitation services and reduction in the pollution load through treatment of 5558 MLD of wastewater and 13.7 MLD of Septage.

Policy Background:

Uttar Pradesh has 652 ULBs with a population of 4.9 Cr (2018).Out of which 610 ULBs are completely dependent upon Onsite Sanitation Systems. ULBs with sewerage network have a significant population depended upon Onsite Sanitation systems.The existing Sewage Treatment Plant treatment capacity is 3298.84 MLD with another 1281.33 MLD STP treatment capacity under construction.

The policy highlights that around 9 Lakhs IHHL were constructed under the SBM in the past 3 years.At present there are 72 Lakhs Onsite Sanitation systems in the state. These households account for the generation of 5558 MLD of wastewater and 13.7 MLD of Septage.

The policy highlighted the existing scenario where due to lack of regular emptying of septic tanks (i.e. atleast 5 years), the supernatant water pollutes the drains and rivers. The emptying of septic tanks is done by untrained private operators who discharge the septage in open field, drains and rivers. This highlights the need for septage management policy to prevent pollution and safeguard public health.

Targets:The policy targets that by year 2023 there is improvement in the quality of water and protection of public health. The Policy articulates a three-pronged Septage Management (SM) Vision:

  1. a) by end of 2019, all preparatory activities of realizing SM target under a sector regulation is completed;
  2. b) by end of 2021, SM is mainstreamed in all Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) and all Nagar Nigams (NNs) & Nagar PalikaParishads (NPPs) have significantly moved forward towards SM and;
  3. c) by end of 2023, all ULBs have implemented SM solutions in an inclusive manner empowering all stakeholders in the process.

Financial Sustainability for Septage Management activities:

The policy proposes Levying of Septage Fee with a separate accounting head. Currently, 4% ARV (Annual Rental Value) for residential houses is being charged as sewer tax. The Septage Fee will be collected as a part of Property Tax from households not connected to sewerage network and hence not paying sewerage tax.