National Urban Sanitation Policy Of India

New Delhi, Jan 21, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / PIB-India) According to Census 2001, 27.8% of Indians, i.e. 286 million people or 55 million households live in urban areas – projections indicate that the urban population would have grown to 331 million people by 2007 and to 368 million by 2012. 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 ones and 13.4 million households (19.49%) use shared latrines. So also, 12.47 million (18.5%) households do not have access to a drainage network and 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. In respect of septic latrines the availability is 66 percent and 35 percent. In respect of underground sewerage, the availability is 30 percent and 15 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.

National Urban Sanitation Policy

The Government has adopted the National Urban Sanitation Policy with a view to addressing the above mentioned issues in October 2008.The vision of the policy is that All Indian cities and towns become totally sanitised, 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. Awareness Generation and Behavioural Change; Open Defecation Free Cities; Integrated City Wide Sanitation; Sanitary and Safe Disposal; and Proper Operation and Maintenance of all Sanitary Installations are the main goals of the policy.

Initiatives under the NUSP

Rating of Cities

The rating of Cities covers all Class I cities of the country which account for 72% of the urban population. The rating was carried out using a methodology which focussed on output, process and outcome indicators and was conducted in consultation with the cities. The purpose of the rating was to create awareness regarding the critical state of sanitation in the country with a view to mobilising action. Cities were classified under four colour categories i.e. Red, Black, Blue and Green.

The rating of cities creates a baseline which can be used to measure progress in respect of sanitation in our cities. Based on the results of the rating, the best performers will be recognized with a National Award- “The Nirman Shahar Puruskar”.

State Sanitation Strategies and City Sanitation Plans

The NUSP requires each state to formulate its own State Urban Sanitation Strategy to achieve the policy goals set out in the NUSP taking into account its local urban context. So far, 24 States are engaged in the preparation of State Sanitation Strategies. Cities will operationalize the state strategy by preparing and implementing City Sanitation Plans. The City Sanitation Plan’s main purpose is to support local bodies, NGOs, CBOs, Citizens to take concrete steps to achieve 100% sanitation in their cities. The preparatory actions include mobilization of a City Sanitation Task Force comprising agencies responsible for on-site sanitation, sewerage, water supply, solid waste, drainage, communities impacted by sanitation conditions, key experts in civic affairs, health urban poverty, prominent businessmen & NGOs working on water and sanitation, urban development and slums, health and environment, representatives of institutions like Cantonment Boards, Central or State Government, representatives of unions of safai karamcharis, sewerage sanitary workers, recycling agents/ kabaris, representatives from private firms/contractors formally or informally working in the sanitation sector- to name a few garbage collector, septic tank de-sludging firms, representatives from educational and cultural institutions etc. Some of the elected Members of the ULB must be members of the Task Force. The Ministry of Urban Development is supporting cities in the development of City Sanitation Plans which are expected to be ready within a year. An amount of Rs.1327.71 lakh has been sanctioned to various State Governments (viz. Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, UP, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh) for preparation of City Sanitation Plans (CSP). So far, around 137 Cities are taking the initiative to make City Sanitation Plans.

Awareness Generation

An awareness generation campaign was launched with the broadcast of audio spots and jingles on Radio/ FM channels with a view to sensitizing citizens regarding the importance of sanitation, negative impacts on health and the environment due to lack of sanitation and most importantly the need to eliminate open defecation. The jingles have been developed in twelve languages.

National School Sanitation Initiative

Our vision of totally sanitized cities can not be achieved without the involvement of all stakeholders including our children who are our future. Keeping this in our view, a one day event on launch of National School Initiative was organized on April 27, 2010 by the Ministry of Urban Development & Ministry of Human Resource Development to sensitize younger children on the issue of sanitation, ecologically important issues such as energy efficiency, conservation of natural resources, segregation of waste etc. Mr. Aamir Khan, noted Film star participated in the event as Brand Ambassador for School Sanitation to spearhead the efforts towards awareness generation for better sanitation.

- PIB Features

(With Inputs from the Ministry of Urban Development)