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Water Supply, Faecal Sludge Management Should Be Integrated With Swachh Bharat, Says Report

For sustaining the efforts of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, things like water supply, and faecal sludge management should be included in the scope of the campaign, says a new report

Experts are of the opinion that India needs to work towards faecal sludge management for a safe urban environment, without posing any risk to land and rivers
  • A plan is needed to rope in corporates in Swachh mission:Report
  • Faecal sludge management needs to be part of Swachh mission: Report
  • Government needs to improve data monitoring: Report

New Delhi: Providing water supply and faecal sludge management for sustainable sanitation will be necessary to make Swachh Bharat Mission a success, says a report by climate think tank TERI. The report, which is part of a three year (2014-17) collaborating programme undertaken by TERI, Coca-Cola India and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), said the government should come out with a tangible business plan to rope in the corporates in the campaign. The government’s approach is now first to create facilities like toilets, “because unless toilets are built we cannot move forward,” Arun Kansal, Head of Coca-Cola Department of Regional Water Studies said.

Swachh Bharta Mission will be able to achieve target as far as access to sanitation is concerned, but for most decentralised toilets we are depending on the soak pit and septic tanks to transfer surface pollution to sub-surface level. That is something which is still a grey area, he said.

Also Read: Leh Gets One Of The First Faecal Sludge Treatment Plants In The World At An Altitude Of 11,400 Feet

The report has emphasised that the government needs to also focus on improving the regulatory mechanism by devolving powers to urban local bodies and introduce stringent regulatory measures in scientific management of solid waste and septage (faecal sludge) for strict enforcement of the ‘polluter-pays’ principle.

The report has recommended that the government should also improve data management, monitoring and review situation. Apart from the need for holistic approach encompassing faecal sludge management, water supply needs to be integrated with the Swachh Bharat Mission. The TERI report has pointed out that along with construction of toilets, the government needs to revise the water supply to urban and rural areas to make the toilets usable.

The report has also noted that for the vast majority of the urban poor who lack improved sanitation services, lack of finance is a major challenge. It has suggested that the goal of the Swachh Bharat Mission can be achieved if the current incentive, in the form of a subsidy that covers 30-50 per cent of the cost of building a toilet, is leveraged to raise additional funds through market-based resources by facilitating innovative financing options.

Also Read: Why The National Urban Faecal Sludge and Septage Management Policy Could Be a Game Changer For Urban Sanitation In India

There is no clear-cut road-map for how the government visualise the role and participation of the corporates. There is no clear-cut policy framework where in corporates are able to see their role, Mr Kansal commented.

While compiling the report, it was felt that the government should attach business plan along with Public Private Partnership model to bring in the corporates in the mission.

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