MoHUA organises National Workshop on Sustainable Sanitation

Union Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA) organized a one day National Workshop Cum Exhibition on Sustainable Sanitation at Vigyan Bhawan on 19 August 2019. The Chief Guest of event was Thawar Chand Gehlot, Union Minister, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJ&E). It is being organized as part of year long celebration of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary.

Key Highlights of Workhop

Objective behind organising workshop on sustainable sanitation- To bring together relevant stakeholders to strategize on mitigating risks associated with manual entry into sewers or septic tanks in a systematic manner, and help eliminate such incidents and fatalities.

Participants: More than 800 representatives participated in workshop including Principal Secretaries (UD) and Mission Directors of AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation) and Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM-U) in States/Union Territories and Municipal Commissioners of 500 cities with population of 1 lakh and above, heads of Parastatal bodies, officials from MoHUA as well as MoSJ&E and development partners.

Focuses on: Discussing social & legal issues and technological & managerial interventions with regard to human entry into sewers and septic tanks.

Key Discussions:

  • Workshop saw discussions and presentation of best practices on Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) based biomethanation under Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) initiative of Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoP&NG) and co­treatment of organic fraction of MSW with sludge.
  • Workshop will showcase best practices on Operation and Maintenance (O&M) of sewerage system such as co-treatment of septage, faecal sludge management with mechanical cleaning of septic tanks, mechanical cleaning of sewers. It showcased latest equipment and machinery for cleaning of sewers and septic tanks in exhibition.
  • Roles and responsibilities of Emergency Response Sanitation Unit (ERSU), a proposed unit to systematise human entry into sewer or septic tanks in a professional, well trained, motivated and appropriately equipped manner.
  • Wastewater and stormwater management including rainwater harvesting in line with Government’s focus on water conservation through Jal Shakti Abhiyan (JSA).

Ministry also released a Manual on Stormwater Drainage Systems, 2019, Advisory on ERSU and Directory of Sewer and Septic Cleaning Equipment prepared by technical experts from Central Public Health and Environmental Engineering Organisation (CPHEEO).

Way Forward

This day long interaction among stakeholders on sustainable sanitation is expected to culminate into a comprehensive roadmap for ensuring sustainable sanitation in urban areas.  Also, in coming days, State/ UT and ULB level representatives will organize similar workshops in their respective areas to further disseminate information and insights on this crucial subject thereby lending a new dimension to the issue of safe and sustainable sanitation.

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