Mr. Sanjay Kedar was appointed as the Chief Officer of Sinnar Municipal Council (SMC), Government of Maharashtra, in February 2020. Since then, he has been involved in the implementation and monitoring of all sanitation-related interventions the city has undertaken.

Sinnar is an industrial town in Maharashtra which was struggling with multiple challenges related to sanitation. Sinnar Municipal Council has played a pivotal role in planning and implementation of the Faecal Sludge and Septage Management (FSSM) services in Sinnar with support from the Center for Water and Sanitation (CWAS), CRDF, CEPT University. This collaborative effort has resulted in a model which can make many towns and cities across the state Open Defecation Free + (ODF+) and ODF++ with their own funds.

To implement FSSM, as part of reaching ODF++ status, the Sinnar Municipal Council adopted the approach of scheduled desludging as a public service. Under this service program, every property along a defined route was covered, and the occupants were informed in advance about the desludging. The city of Sinnar has been divided into three different zones, and each septic tank of the zone is being emptied in one year. This way, the three-year desludging cycle of each septic tank in the city will be completed in due time.

Sinnar implemented this plan through Public Private Partnership (PPP). The contracts for scheduled desludging in the city use a performance-linked annuity model that has a pay-for-results contract in place between the desludging company and the local government. When it comes to financing, the city has levied a sanitation tax in order to ensure that adequate funds are available for them to continue with these services.

It is of utmost importance that Faecal Sludge and Septage Management (FSSM) services benefit all sections of society. Hence, the public and private sector enterprises work in tandem to ensure that scheduled desludging focuses on inclusion. Along with high-income households, the low-income families and those living in slum areas have received this service in Sinnar.

The Faecal Sludge Treatment Plant (FSTP) in Sinnar is run by a private operator. Here, the treated wastewater is being reused for landscaping and maintaining the urban forest. The Sinnar Municipal Council has involved Self Help Group (SHG) members to maintain gardens and the urban forest at the FSTP on a daily basis. The FSTP is developed with the perspective of creating a sanitation resource centre. It is a self-sufficient and eco-friendly plant as it is powered entirely by solar energy.

Sinnar has set an example for other cities to learn that implementing scheduled desludging is possible and beneficial. If Sinnar Municipal Council has been able to do it, all the other small and medium towns also have the potential to provide FSSM as a regular service and benefit from it.  

LEADERSHIP ENSURING SAFE SANITATION IN THE PANDEMIC  


When the COVID-19 outbreak first hit India, the Government of Maharashtra prioritised containment of the virus, along with providing the essential services. As guided by the state government, the Sinnar Municipal Council primarily focused on undertaking various measures for the containment of the virus and providing uninterrupted basic services to the masses. Along with this, they followed all the guidelines and did everything necessary to protect the frontline workers and other vulnerable groups.

The continuation of the basic sanitation services further helped in curbing the impact of COVID-19 in Sinnar. Keeping in mind the safety of the sanitation workers, PPE kits were distributed to them and their usage was ensured. To continue sanitation-led operations without any hindrance, ID cards and permission letters for the sanitation workers were quickly issued by the Sinnar Municipal Council. Hand washing stations with pedals were set up near each of the community and public toilets to encourage and promote frequent hand washing for better hygiene. The community and public toilets were cleaned and sanitised regularly and according to set standards. The septic tanks were also desludged on a daily basis.  

Though the COVID protocols were limiting, the pandemic did not deter the sanitation workers from providing the services. The scheduled desludging services, emergency desludging and operations of the FSTP were sustained even during these tough times.

Going Forward

 

 

 

The importance of safe and inclusive sanitation has increased a lot more for the city of Sinnar as the pandemic set in. FSSM will continue to remain a priority to ensure that households in all the different zones of the city can access safe sanitation. While Sinnar Municipal Council conducted a survey regarding Individual Household Toilets (IHHTs) to mobilise applications for household toilets, it believes that the focus on Individual Household Toilets (IHHTs) requires more attention in the light of COVID-19.


National Faecal Sludge and Septage Management Alliance

The National Faecal Sludge and Septage Management Alliance is a collaborative body, convened in 2016 and supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, working with governments and decision-makers across the country at national, state and city levels to drive safe and sustainable urban sanitation in India.

Submit Stories of Resilience




Loading
Your message has been sent. Thank you!


Designed by BootstrapMade