Mumbai: With eight crore toilets built in India since 2014, a new challenge in the form of untreated sewage confronts India, with the problems expected to surmount in coming years, officials said at the World Toilet Summit, here on Monday.
As per a latest data, 70 per cent of urban India’s sewage goes untreated into rivers and seas, posing health risks and by 2030, when 50 per cent of India’s population will live in cities, the increased amount of human and safe treatment would be an enormous challenge.
Experts speaking at the summit, held to mark the World Toilet Day observed worldwide on November 19, said even globally, 57 per cent of the waste is not contained, transported or treated safely.
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This year, the day specifically emphasised the importance of toilets and sanitation systems harmonious with the environment by ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
In this context, last year, India created a policy on faecal sludge and septage management (FSSM) for safe storage, collection, transport and treatment of human waste, which states started adopting, said Sakshi Gudwani, WSH Specialist of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Besides, cities like Warangal (Telangana), Sinnar (Maharashtra) and Bhubaneswar (Odisha) have deployed cost-effective and sustainable FSSM solutions, which others need to catch up on.
With technology expected to play a crucial role in this, there are existing and new technologies with potential to reduce human waste burden and treat it scientifically as per international standards, according to Sampath Kumar, Managing Director, Tide Technocrats.
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Some states and cities have built Faecal Sludge Treatment Plants (FSTPs) like Wai (Maharashtra), Warangal (Telangana) and Narsapur (Andhra Pradesh), Devanahalli (Karnataka) and another at Leh (Jammu & Kashmir) at an altitude of 11,400 feet.
Another potential technology of Ankur Scientific can process waste, kill pathogens and convert the resulting materials into usable products like clean water, electricity or fertilizers, besides providing new revenue streams.
Ankur Scientific’s Managing Director Ankur Jain said a pilot project will come up by next year in Vadodara (Gujarat) for proving the technical, commercial viabilities and mass adoption to improving sanitation outcomes in India.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.