EU helping local bodies to improve sanitation in Indian cities
EU helping local bodies to improve sanitation in Indian citiesNew Delhi, Jun 16 (KNN) Access to drinking water and basic sanitation are important objectives under the Millennium Development Goals or MDGs. While the global halving of people without drinking water has been achieved five years ahead of the deadline of 2015, there are still 2.5 billion people without sanitation in the developing countries, the EU has said.
“The absence of toilets is a cause of poor hygiene and health, and even poor attendance in schools. The EU has therefore emphasised improved waste management and sanitation in a recent initiative to partner with urban local bodies in India to address this problem,” it added.
Eighteen months into implementation, five water, sanitation and waste management projects in India are supported by the EU and implemented by urban local bodies and their civil society partners. It is in this backdrop that a reviewer was taken under the aegis of EU.
Coming from the states of Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra where conditions of climate, population density, employment profile, levels of awareness, water availability, civic amenities and financial resources differ, there was enough common ground for participants at a review meeting to find their interactions rewarding.
The review workshop was held in Pune recently, attended by 78 participants from the cities of Burhanpur and Raisen in Madhya Pradesh; Shimla in Himachal Pradesh; Pune, Ichalkaranji and Solapur in Maharashtra; and Jaisalmer and Kishangarh in Rajasthan. Participants of the workshop visited slums and interacted with the communities.
Currently, Pune Municipal Council (PMC) is promoting community led total sanitation initiative in over 500 slums in Pune. The participants also got to see the working of a waste digester plant run on a financially sustainable public-private partnership mode for converting waste into electric energy.
The cities under the project have different profiles and there are different strategies to deal with their waste and sanitation challenges. In Shimla, the project will focus on Community Based Sanitation (CBS), decentralised waste water treatment (DEWATS) with a simplified sewerage system, and decentralised solid waste management (DESWAM).
In Burhanpur, a proven EU trickling filter technology plus suitable post treatment could be introduced. Such a technology requires less energy compared to activated sludge. The municipality is in consultation with CEMDS, Austria and Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee to identify and agree on an appropriate intervention.
While Raisen is considering the adoption of constructed wetland (vertical flow type) technology which requires low operation and maintenance expenditure it needs considerable space, which studies are looking into. Meanwhile, Indian Grameen Services (IGS), an NGO, will provide waste pickers with training to guarantee efficient, quality and timely waste management services. It is also mobilising resident communities and bringing awareness to segregate waste.
In Pune, the EU-supported 'Slum Sanitation and Health Welfare Advanced Approach System' (SHWAAS) project being implemented by the Pune Municipal Corporation in partnership with the CHF India Foundation aims to increase access to functional and well-maintained Community toilets, establish a house to house segregated garbage collection system, and install a 'bio-digester' plant to be managed by the community. Eighteen slums have been identified for implementation in the first year/phase but the shortage of space for construction of toilets, high level of illiteracy among slum dwellers, high density of population and limited land ownership have posed challenges.
ICLEI is implementing integrated urban water management in two cities in Rajasthan – Jaisalmer and Kishangarh and two cities of Maharashtra – Ichalkaranji and Solapur. Groundwork has begun for water metering in Ichalkaranji; the construction of traditional rainwater harvesting structures in Jaisalmer; and capacity building in Solapur. In Kishangarh, pollution from the marble processing industry is a major challenge whereas in Solapur, the priorities are preventing high transmission and distribution losses, high water consumption by industries, and a fast-depleting ground water table. These will be dealt with over the next three and a half years. (KNN Bureau)