Uttarakhand is leading wastewater treatment despite a challenging climate and topography, preserving the region's biodiversity

Uttarakhand's FSSM Journey


Located in the foothills of the Himalayas, Uttarakhand poses a different challenge in sanitation given its 5 distinct geo-climatic zones significantly impacting its climate, groundwater, soil quality and biodiversity.


Early Sanitation Senarios
Sanitation scenario in Uttarakhand

Toilet Infrastructure Coverage

  • Good toilet coverage but latter parts of the sanitation value chain, transportation and treatment, needed to be strengthened

  • 94% urban households with access to Individual Household Toilets (Census 2011)

  • Less than 5% urban households dependent on Community toilets/ Public toilets

Off-site Sanitation and Septage Management

  • Nearly 70% urban local bodies (ULB) fully dependent on on-site sanitation (OSS)

  • In the remaining 30% ULBs, coverage of sewer network was only partial (less than 50%)

Challenges unique to Uttarakhand
  • 8 out 13 districts lie in entirely hilly terrains, therefore laying of sewerage infrastructure poses significant challenges

  • Most cities lacking in septage collection, treatment & disposal facilities and regulations


Foundation of FSSM in the state
Govt. of Uttarakhand
issues Protocol for Septage Management
  • The state issued guidelines to all ULBs to establish a regulatory framework for construction of OSS collection, transportation and disposal of Faecal Sludge and Septage.

  • This mandated the formation of Septage Management Cells (SMC) at ULB level and Monitoring Committee at District Level

Situational Assessment of Sanitation in the State
  • The state’s technical support unit (TSU), led by National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) prepared an assessment report on FSSM based on a study they conducted in 5 towns

  • The study was conducted by IIT Roorkee with support from NIUA. This was a feasibility study requested by SPMG Uttarakhand to assess quantity of septage that can be added to existing STPs in major cities in the state (Dehradun and 3 Ganga towns). Strategies for septage addition to the STPs under study were proposed based on the STP design and actual organic and hydraulic loading


Institutional Strenthening
Institutional Support for FSSM

The Uttarakhand Urban Development Directorate signed an agreement with the Technical Support Unit (NIUA) to build state capacity on FSSM through capacity development, technical support, policy and advisory support specifically on FSSM

Capacity Building for Stakeholders

The Uttarakhand Academy of Administration in Nainital signed a MoU with the state’s technical support unit for conducting state-wide capacity building events on FSSM

Workshops and Trainings conducted:

  • National Workshop on 'Non-sewered Sanitation Systems in India', Mussoorie 2019

  • State consultation meet on 'Co-treatment of Septage at STPs and technology options for septage management', Dehradun 2019

  • Regular Trainings (Orientation and Advanced), and Exposure Visits on effective Faecal Sludge Management in 2018 – 2021 for officials from ULBs, Pey Jal Nigam and Jan Sansthan

State-level Septage Management Committee

The Committee was established in August 2019, to guide and promote FSSM for the state. It is Chaired by Secretary, Urban Development Department


Simultaneous Progress

Focus in treatment facilities under different programs and national missions

National Mission for Clean Ganga

Rising standards of living, exponential growth of industrialization and increase in number of tourists have exposed the river to pollution especially through discharge of untreated wastewater from the towns. This led to a shift in the sanitation strategy of the state from rural to urban areas, with the launch of National Mission for Clean Ganga

  • State Ganga Rejuvenation, Protection and Management Committee for the State of Uttarakhand formed in 2017 by Govt. of India

  • State Program Management Group (SPMG) set up by the department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Uttarakhand

  • As a result, there was a focus on treatment facilities (STPs) along Ganga towns to ensure no urban sewage or industrial effluent flows into the river by 2020

    • Interception & Diversion, creation of STPs and laying of sewer lines project in 15 towns

    • Projects for Upgradation of STPs in 8 towns

River Rejuvenation in Polluted Stretches of Smaller Rivers
  • River Rejuvenation Committee (RRC) constituted in 2018 as per an order from NGT in 2018, to address the critically polluted river stretches identified by CPCB

  • Nine such stretches in Uttarakhand along smaller rivers (1 in Dehradun, 8 in Udham Singh Nagar distt.) were identified

  • Action plans made for all 9 river stretches in 2019 with one of the key identified activities as Interception and Diversion of municipal drains and construction of Sewage Treatment Plant; DPRs prepared for all in 2019

Sanitation and Sewerage Related Projects under AMRUT
  • Co-treatment/FSTP/Wastewater treatment plant projects initiated in 6 AMRUT cities out of 7 in total

Uttarakhand Urban Sector Development Agency (UUSDA) projects
  • Urban infrastructure development projects for implementing wastewater treatment plants in major towns of the state under funds from ADB and AFD


Commitment to scientific treatment of septage
Thrust towards Co-Treatment

In January 2021, the River Rejuvenation Committee (RRC) which was constituted as per the order of the National Green Tribunal, under the leadership of the Chief Secretary, laid down the pre-requisite of including co-treatment in STPs from the design stage itself while existing STPs have to ensure the scientific addition of co-treatment.

  • Co-treatment is proposed in existing STPs in several cities (Dehradun, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Srinagar, Ramnagar)

  • Faecal Sludge Treatment Plants (FSTPs) were proposed in Rudrapur and Rudraprayag

  • In an initiative by a small city, Nagar Panchayat Lalkuan (Distt. Nainital, population ~8,000) used its own funds (State Finance allocation) to construct 10 KLD septage treatment plant to address the issue of safe disposal of septage. As of Nov 2021, it is awaiting technical clearance from concerned departments to begin operations

Scaling up FSSM

Regulation of City Operations

Hand-holding support to ULBs
  • Septage Management Cells formation in 92 out of 100 ULBs (except the newly formed 8 ULBs in September 2021)

  • Development of FSSM bye-laws initiated across all ULBs; 10 Gazette notified as of Nov ‘21

State-level advisories on FSSM chain and treatment options
  • Advisory to all ULBs for operationalizing Septage Management Protocol, 2020

  • Guidelines to ULBs for exploring DRE as interim septage disposal option for FS generation < 10 KLD

  • Draft FSSM Strategy and Investment Plan (SIP) to scale up septage management in the state

  • Draft State Co-treatment Advisory


Looking ahead
Finalizing and Operationalizing State Investment Plan (SIP)
  • SCBP team Dehradun is working on a draft FSSM Strategy and Investment Plan (SIP) to scale up septage management across the state.

  • The state envisions a phased development of FSSM clusters around existing and upcoming treatment facilities to achieve 100% treatment of septage

Implementation of Co-Treatment Advisory
  • Co-treatment potential to be explored and initiated in existing treatment facilities as per the finalized guidelines

Financing FSSM Sustainability
  • Funds to be channelized from existing and new national missions such as AMRUT, AMRUT 2.0, SBM-2.0 and also from 15th Finance Commission

    • SBM 2.0

      Swachh Bharat Mission has impacted in 95% of the state attaining ODF status, however it did not provide a solution to the treatment of blackwater (wastewater from containing solid and liquid excreta). Under SBM 2.0, the government is trying to tap other aspects of sanitation including safe containment, transportation, treatment & disposal of faecal sludge and septage from toilets. The fund sharing pattern between the Centre and State will be 90:10 for Uttarakhand as it is a Himalayan State.

    • 15th Finance Commission

      Uttarakhand state is to receive Rs. 1600 crore over a period of 5 years (2021-26) of which 60 % of the grant are tied grants and 40% are untied grants. Further, 30% of the tied grants to be disbursed to urban local bodies, shall be earmarked for management of household waste, in particular human excreta and faecal sludge.

    • AMRUT 2.0

      The Union government will provide 90% share (owing to Hilly state status of Uttarakhand) for the projects of Wastewater Management including FSSM in 7 AMRUT towns of the state. The seven towns of Uttarakhand under AMRUT are Dehradun, Roorkee, Haridwar, Kashipur, Rudrapur, Haldwani and Nainital.

    • AMRUT

      Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) aims to provide services for smooth urban operations, with sewerage management as one of the priorities

      38% of the funds available under AMRUT, Uttarakhand are for sewerage and septage management which are being and will be implemented across 7 mission cities in the State

FSSM Milestones in Uttarakhand

Focus areas supporting Uttarakhand's FSSM achievements

About the
NFSSM Alliance

The National Faecal Sludge and Septage Management (NFSSM) Alliance was convened in January 2016. The Alliance was convened to build consensus around faecal sludge and septage management. The Alliance with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation works in close collaboration with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and helped design a national policy on FSSM.​

and support