National Urban Sanitation Policy

National Urban Sanitation Policy

The Government of India, Ministry of Urban Development recently released the National Urban Sanitation Policy. We attach the document below, as well as key excerpts. We request you to add your comments below regarding the provisions of the Sanitation Policy. Click here to view the National Urban Sanitation Policy The document is quite comprehensive and detailed. It lays out a vision for urban sanitation in India. It instructs states to come up with their own detailed state-level urban sanitation strategies and City Sanitation Plans. It moots the idea of totally sanitised and open-defecation cities as a target and the setting up of a multi-stakeholder City Sanitation Task Force to achieve this. Environmental considerations, public health implications and reaching the unserved and urban poor are given significant emphasis in the policy. Funding options are laid out including direct central and state support including through existing schemes, public-private partnerships, and external funding agencies. It directs that atleast 20% of the funds should be earmarked towards servicing the urban poor. The Center also plans to institute awards to the best performing cities, reminiscent of the Nirmal Gram Puraskar awards for villages. Important Excerpts from the Policy: 

Sanitation Statistics: 12.04 million (7.87 %) Urban households do not have access to latrines and defecate in the open. 5.48 million (8.13%) Urban households use community latrines and 13.4 million households (19.49%) use shared latrines. 12.47 million (18.5%) households do not have access to a drainage network. 26.83 million (39.8%) households are connected to open drains. The status in respect of the urban poor is even worse. The percentage of notified and non-notified slums without latrines is 17 percent and 51 percent respectively. More than 37% of the total human excreta generated in urban India, is unsafely disposed. This imposes significant public health and environmental costs to urban areas that contribute more than 60% of the country's GDP. Impacts of poor sanitation are especially significant for the urban poor (22% of total urban population), women, children and the elderly. The loss due to diseases caused by poor sanitation for children under 14 years alone in urban areas amounts to Rs. 500 Crore at 2001 prices (Planning Commission-United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF), 2006). Inadequate discharge of untreated domestic/municipal wastewater has resulted in contamination of 75 percent of all surface water across India. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) enjoin upon the signatory nations to extend access to improved sanitation to at least half the urban population by 2015, and 100% access by 2025. This implies extending coverage to households without improved sanitation, and providing proper sanitation facilities in public places to make cities open-defecation free. The vision for Urban Sanitation in India is: All Indian cities and towns become totally sanitized, healthy and liveable and ensure and sustain good public health and environmental outcomes for all their citizens with a special focus on hygienic and affordable sanitation facilities for the urban poor and women.

Environmental and Health Considerations: 100 % of human excreta and liquid wastes from all sanitation facilities including toilets must be disposed of safely. In order to achieve this goal, the following activities shall be undertaken: a. Promoting proper functioning of network-based sewerage systems and ensuring connections of households to them wherever possible; b. Promoting recycle and reuse of treated waste water for non potable applications wherever possible will be encouraged. c. Promoting proper disposal and treatment of sludge from on-site installations (septic tanks, pit latrines, etc.); d. Ensuring that all the human wastes are collected safely confined and disposed of after treatment so as not to cause any hazard to public health or the environment.

Integrated Low Cost Sanitation Scheme: Ministry of Housing and Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) is administering a Centrally Sponsored Scheme for Integrated Low Cost Sanitation (ILCS). Under this scheme, central subsidy to the extent of 75%, state subsidy to the extent of 15% and beneficiary contribution to the extent of 10% is provided for. The main objective of the scheme is to convert around 6 lakh dry latrines into low cost pour flush latrines by 31st March 2010. 75% of the central allocation will be used for conversion and the remaining 25% will be used for construction of new toilets for EWS households who have no toilets in urban areas

State Sanitation Strategies and City Sanitation Plans: a. States will be encouraged to prepare State Level Sanitation Strategies within a period of 2 years. Chapter on Draft Framework for Developing State Sanitation Strategies gives an outline of the strategy (Annexure I); b. Identified cities will be urged to prepare model City Sanitation Plans within a period of 2 years. Chapter on Draft Framework for a City Sanitation Plan gives an outline of the plan (Annexure II); c. Providing assistance for the preparation of Detailed Project Report (DPR) as per city sanitation plan as soon as requests for funding are received; Urban Poor: Every urban dweller should be provided with minimum levels of sanitation, irrespective of the legal status of the land in which he/she is dwelling, possession of identity proof or status of migration. However, the provision of basic services would not entitle the dweller to any legal right to the land on which he/she is residing. At least 20% of the funds under the sanitation sector should be earmarked for the urban poor. The issues of cross subsidiary the urban poor and their involvement in the collection of O&M charges should be considered.

City Sanitation Task Force:  a) Constitute a multi-stakeholder City Sanitation Task Force comprising representatives from • Agencies directly responsible for sanitation including on-site sanitation, sewerage, water supply, solid waste, drainage, etc including the different divisions and departments of the ULB, PHED, etc; • Agencies indirectly involved in or impacted by sanitation conditions including representatives from the civil society, colonies, slum areas, apartment buildings, etc, • Eminent persons and practitioners in civic affairs, health, urban poverty, • Representatives from shops and establishments, • Representatives of other large institutions in the city (e.g. Cantonment Boards, Govt. of India or State Govt. Enterprise campuses, etc.), • NGOs working on water and sanitation, urban development and slums, health and environment, • Representatives of unions of safai karamcharis, sewerage sanitary workers, recycling agents / kabaris, etc • Representatives from private firms/contractors formally or informally working in the sanitation sector (e.g. garbage collectors, septic tank de-sludging firms etc.) • Representatives from educational and cultural institutions • Any other significant or interested stakeholders The City Sanitation Task Force will be responsible for Launching the City 100% Sanitation Campaign

Baseline Survey: In parallel with the preparatory steps, the ULB / Implementing Agency will collate the information on sanitation that exists with the ULB itself and other agencies in the city. This will include demographic, institutional, technical, social and financial information. In addition, it will commission a private agency or an NGO or both to carry out primary data collection on the missing items , the surveys will use a mix of structured and participatory techniques. All the data collected must be amenable to linking to an existing or proposed Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for the city.

Awards Scheme: In order to rapidly promote sanitation in urban areas of the country (as provided for in the National Urban Sanitation Policy and goals 2008), and to recognize excellent performance in this area, the Government of India intends to institute an annual award scheme for cities. The award is based on the premise that improved public health and environmental standards are the two outcomes that cities must seek to ensure for urban citizens. In doing so, governments in states and urban areas will need to plan and implement holistic city-wide sanitation plans, thereby put in place processes that help reach outputs pertaining to safe collection, disposal and disposal (including conveyance, treatment, and/or re-use without adverse impacts on the environment in and around the cities). It may be noted that the awards will not recognize mere inputs, hardware or expenditure incurred in urban sanitation but assess how these lead to achievements of intermediate milestones toward the final result of 100 % safe disposal of wastes from the city on a sustainable basis. Cities will need to raise the awareness of city stakeholders (households, establishments, industries, municipal functionaries, media, etc.) since improved sanitation can ensure improved public health and environmental outcomes only if considerable changes in behaviour and practice take place across the spectrum of society.

Please add your comments on the National Urban Sanitation Policy below -- India Water Portal

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