1. A Study by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has expressed concern over the sewerage system and wastewater management in Uttar Pradesh (UP).
- Findings of the study:
- According to CSE, onsite sanitation systems such as septic tanks or pit latrines are far more prevalent, and are used by 47% of households.
- Urban UP has an 80% coverage of toilets but due to inefficient sanitation system almost 87% of the excreta bring generated by these toilets is being dumped in water bodies or agricultural lands.
- With no designated site for disposal, the emptied faecal sludge ends up in open drains and fields, which eventually lead to polluting the Ganga and other rivers and surface water bodies.
- The faecal sludge is emptied periodically from the septic tank, either manually or mechanically using vacuum trucks or tankers and CSE’s analysis found that half of all emptying work is done manually, despite the legal prohibition on manual scavenging.
- CSE argues that building more toilets will only worsen the environmental, sanitation and manual scavenging situation, unless sewerage connections increase from the current 28% of households in the 30 cities studied.
- CSE researchers mapped excreta flow diagrams for 30 cities divided into four clusters by population over a six month period.
- First cluster: In cities with a population over 10 lakh, such as Lucknow, Kanpur and Agra, the sewerage system covers 44% of the population.
- However, only 28% of that wastewater is safely treated and 44% of the waste generated is safely treated and managed.
- A third of the population is dependent on septic tanks connected to open drains, while 4% of the population still defecate in the open.
- Second cluster:In cities with a population between five and 10 lakh, more than 70% of the population is dependent on tanks connected to open drains, and only half of them would actually qualify as septic tanks.
- Of the five cities in this cluster, only Jhansi has a designated disposal site. Overall, only 18% of waste and sludge is safely managed.
- Third cluster: In cities with a population between 1.2 lakh and five lakh, only 9% of waste and sludge are safely managed.
- Fourth cluster: The cities whose populations are less than 1.2 lakh, the waste and sludge management drops to a mere 4%.