National Mission for Clean Ganga organised a virtual meeting on Mainstreaming Faecal Sludge and Septage Management in Ganga Basin to achieve citywide sanitation for river pollution abatement on 22nd July 2020 in collaboration with Centre for Science and Environment. Shri Upendra Prasad Singh (IAS), Secretary, Department of Water Resources River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti chaired the meeting and key speakers included Shri Rajiv Ranjan Mishra (IAS), Director General, National Mission for Clean Ganga; Shri G. Mathi Vathanan (IAS) Principal Secretary, H&UD Dept., Odisha; Ms Sunita Narain, Director General, Centre for Science and Environment and Dr Suresh Kumar Rohilla, Senior Director, Centre for Science and Environment. It was a closed-door meeting for Chief Secretaries and Pollution Control Boards of all the states of the country and key officials of NMCG and SMCG, more than 300 participants attended the meeting.
Sh. Rajiv Ranjan Mishra moderated the meeting and set the tone of the meeting right in the beginning by acknowledging no solution is complete solution, therefore to achieve citywide sanitation we need to complement the existing capacity of sewage treatment with faecal sludge management, which will not only help in containing indiscriminate discharge of faecal sludge in the neighbourhood but also help in pollution abatement of water bodies. He highlighted that this is the time to scale up the pilot initiatives across the country & assured the cooperation & guidance of NMCG.
Shri Upendra Prasad Singh (IAS) Secretary, Ministry of Jal Shakti addressed the participants and highlighted the importance of effective on-ground work towards septage management by various states in tandem with the national guidelines. He emphasized to look for other alternatives in order to address present challenges in sewerage systems. He requested the audience to learn from the Odisha story of FSSM and ask questions, if any.
Shri G. Mathi Vathanan presented about the initiatives taken by Government of Odisha towards mainstreaming Faecal Sludge and Septage Management. He stated that as compared to centralised sewerage systems implementing FSSM was not only economical but it also saved a lot of time. He also stated how the pollution load in rivers have reduced since the ten faecal sludge treatment plants have been operational. Women self-help groups and transgender self-help groups are maintaining most of these plants, in-fact in one of the cities the members of SHGs are managing the whole sanitation chain right from operating the public toilets to transporting faecal sludge to maintaining the FSTPs.
Ms Sunita Narain gave an overview on water and excreta management & emphasized that without sustainable citywide sanitation for all, it is impossible to clean our rivers. There is enough evidence that there was hardly any difference of lockdown on the water quality of rivers with respect to biological load as the domestic wastewater still found its way to the rivers, she claimed. She also shared the extensive study done by CSE on excreta management in the state of Uttar Pradesh using an interesting tool called ‘Shit Flow Diagram’, which helps in mapping the flow of excreta throughout the city. She also shared the performance of various faecal sludge treatment plants throughout the country, a first of its kind study. In the end, she stated that we must remember that we all live downstream - one city's waste in another's source of water.
Dr Suresh Kumar Rohilla gave a short presentation on what is the Shit Flow Diagram (SFD) tool, what are the possible applications and what has been the impact of first two phases of SFD promotion initiative. He also explained what does Phase 3 of the initiative entails and that NMCG would be the core partner of CSE in scaling up the use of SFDs for better planning, advocacy and monitoring progress of sanitation in cities. All the participants joined to virtually launch the SFD phase 3 for India.
Sh. UP Singh, then moderated an interesting question and answer session and encouraged all the states to clarify their doubts with the esteemed panellists. Questions answered ranged from basic concepts like what is the difference between septage and faecal sludge to more practical ones on how to manage the grey water in areas where septage management is being implemented. He also remarked that this is not the only meeting on this topic, and that a similar meeting with learning from other pioneering states will be arranged to mainstream FSSM all over India.
|New Delhi, July 24, 2020
Sustainable city-wide sanitation for all is the only way to clean our rivers, including the Ganga: CSE
|Mainstreaming FSSM in Odisha - Experience Sharing
By: G. Mathi Vathanan, Principal Secretary, H&UDD
|Excreta Management & effective FSSM for River Pollution Abatement
By: Ms Sunita Narain, Director General, CSE
|Brief on SFD Phase 3
By: Dr Suresh Kumar Rohilla, Senior Director, CSE
|Shri Upendra Prasad Singh (IAS)
Secretary, DoWRRD&GR, Ministry of Jal Shakti
|Shri Rajiv Ranjan Mishra (IAS)
National Mission for Clean Ganga
|Shri G. Mathi Vathanan (IAS)
H&UD Dept., Odisha
|Ms Sunita Narain
Centre for Science & Environment
|Dr Suresh Rohilla
Centre for Science & Environment
|SFD Phase III India Launch Event July 2020|
|Advisory on On-site and Off-Site Sewage Management Practices|