The Minister of Municipal Administration and Urban Development Department, Government of Telangana, K. T. Rama Rao, inaugurated Hyderabad’s first Faecal Sludge Treatment Plant (FSTP), set up by the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWSSB).
This unique public-private initiative is supported by Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd. (HDFC) through its philanthropic arm, the H T Parekh Foundation (HTPF) and facilitated by Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI) and Samhita Social Ventures.
This initiative is the outcome of a successful collaboration between government, private sector and civil society, to address public health, sanitation worker safety, environment concerns and enhancing liveability in a rapidly growing metropolitan city of India.
“If sanitation is to be managed safely, it is important to go beyond the toilet and examine containment, emptying, transport, treatment and reuse or disposal of faecal waste. Telangana is committed to the safe management and scientific disposal of faecal waste, and improving public health and the environment. I congratulate HMWSSB for leading this initiative and I am thankful for the joint efforts of HDFC Ltd, Samhita Social Ventures and the Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI) in helping us achieve our goal of sustaining ODF plus plus practices in Telangana,” said K. T. Rama Rao, Minister for IT, Industries, MA & UD
Hyderabad is the first metropolitan city to promote citywide inclusive sanitation by integrating faecal sludge and septage management (FSSM) and a centralized sewer system for better public health outcomes. The project has not only enabled establishment of a state of the art FSTP plant but also promoted citizen centric reforms such as:
- Introduced “Dial-a-septic tank” service through a single point contact (155313) for citizens to seek an empaneled desludging service provider
- Notified pro-poor tariff structure for desludging
- Promoted sanitation worker safety, wellbeing and sustained livelihoods
- Capacity building of HMWSSB officials and sanitation workers
- Behaviour change communication campaigns on importance of safe sanitation
“Promoting citywide inclusive sanitation requires the meeting of minds of city stakeholders from the government, non-government and civil society groups. ASCI enabled these players to come together and amplified the importance of FSSM, safety and wellbeing of Safai Mitras and circularity in waste management. Technology Innovation, especially for pathogen kill in the waste and ICT enablement of sanitation service chain are hallmarks of this initiative. These endeavours wouldn’t have been possible without the active support and involvement of HMWSSB” – ASCI
The FSTP is established near Nalla Cheruvu lake. Over 80,000 households in the vicinity as well as businesses in these un-sewered areas have developed onsite sanitation systems such as septic tanks and decentralized package treatment systems.
The FSTP would be able to serve these households and treat over 14 truckloads of highly polluting septage per day, reduce the propensity of unsafe disposal in local water bodies and open areas by unregulated private operators, thereby protecting the health of citizens and the environment.
Through this project, Hyderabad has set an example on integrated sanitation management across the city, including peripheral areas, for other metropolitan cities to replicate.
“Promoting sanitation in a holistic manner has been a focus for HDFC’s CSR since 2014. With this particular project, we saw the opportunity to support a pilot project for a comprehensive and replicable model for Faecal Sludge and Septage Management (FSSM) that includes infrastructure development, institutional strengthening, streamlining operations through information and communication technology (ICT), and behaviour change interventions. Working through the sanitation eco-system, this partnership was meant to showcase an innovative sanitation model for other Indian cities to benchmark and replicate ” said Ziaa Lalkaka, CEO, H T Parekh Foundation.
This partnership has brought together different stakeholders on a common platform to improve sanitation and contribute to public health and well-being. Under this project, ASCI has engaged desludging operators, HMWSSB staff and private operators to build their capacity. The state-of-art FSTP is supported by HDFC Ltd, and Samhita provided support and guidance on improving sanitation workers safety, wellbeing and livelihoods.
“At Samhita, we strongly believe in the power of collaboration to create social impact. Owing to the economic boom, Hyderabad’s peripheral areas have grown rapidly whereas the sewage infrastructure is yet to be developed. Tackling this is important as it can be of great risk to public health and the environment. We thank all the partners and the Government of Telangana for enabling this initiative to succeed, and providing a promising model of collaboration between government, private sector and civil society for other large cities,” said Priya Naik, Founder & CEO, Samhita Social Ventures.
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