Need experiences and inputs on best practices in effective sewage disposal in Madhya Pradesh

From Aniruddhe Mukerjee, Government of Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal
Posted 21 May 2007

Dear Members,

I used to work for the UN-HABITAT on the Water for Asian Cities Programme, which aims to support developing countries in Asia and Pacific to achieve sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation for the poor, particularly in urban areas. In Madhya Pradesh, the programme is working in four cities of the state, viz. Bhopal, Gwalior, Indore and Jabalpur for improvement and expansion of urban water supply, sewerage and sanitation, water drainage and solid waste management.

Rapid urbanisation has brought with it a substantial increase in sewage wastes, the uncontrolled and unscientific dumping of which has greatly increased the potential hazard to human health through contamination of surface and ground water. It is seen that urban local bodies normally dump untreated sewage in water bodies and low lying areas with no consideration of the impact of this on the environment. Moreover, lack of knowledge of best practices among various municipalities regarding generation, collection and disposal of these wastes leads to continuation of poor practices.

The Ministry of Environment and Forests, Govt. of India has recently legislated the Municipal Waste Management and Handling Rules 2000. However, enforcement of these Rules is far from satisfactory. In the above context, there is a need to understand the following:

  • Good practices in implementation of sewage waste management programmes to provide eco-friendly, sustainable, low cost and community based solutions, especially for small and medium settlements, say of a few thousand households. Numerous innovations in this regard by communities, organizations and individuals exist across India.
  • Suggested and tried mechanisms for improving the treatment and safe disposal of sewage, such as decentralised treatment through soak-pits, etc. and the potential of such waste to generate energy.
  • Institutional framework that should be followed to sustainably manage sewage through community and public-private partnership.

Solution Exchange Community members are requested to please share experiences and best practices in other parts of India on the above issues. Your inputs will help us enhance the design and implementation of the programmes for sewage management in cities, especially for the poor, and will be deeply appreciated.

Please see attachment below for the response.