SOPs for cleaning of sewers, septic tanks released to ensure safety for field staff

NetIndian News Network

New Delhi, November 21, 2018

The Government has released the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Cleaning of Sewers and Septic Tanks for use by field staff who respond to sanitary sewer overflows or spills, in order to ensure their safety and prevent critical accidents. 
Making the announcement during the celebration of the World Toilet Day on Monday,  Ramdas Athawale, Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment felicitated the winners of the Technology Challenge under the AMRUT Mission and expressed confidence that innovative solutions emerging from initiatives such as this would enable safer management of human waste, without endangering human life. 
The workshop on urban sanitation was aimed at addressing challenges in the urban sanitation space thereby enable participating states and cities in proactively implementing viable, affordable and sustainable sanitation solutions for a Swachh Bharat (Clean India).
Delhi Lt. Governor Anil Baijal, Durga Shankar Mishra, Secretary, Housing and Urban Affairs and more than 500 other invitees, including Municipal Commissioners and senior officers from AMRUT cities and other stakeholders in the area of urban sanitation attended the workshop.
Baijal said that the feature of locating public toilets on Google Maps had the potential to solve a major issue that citizens face today – that of finding toilets that are clean, functional and usable. 
While he acknowledged that the condition of several community and public toilets provide scope for improvement, he was glad to note that there are 33,000+ toilets across 800+ cities already live and open to reviews from citizens on Google Maps. 
Baijal appreciated the SBM Toilet Monitoring Tool Dashboard launched by the Ministry that would serve as a governance and monitoring tool for Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) by providing them with the true picture of the condition of public toilets in their area and help them take corrective action.
Mishra touched upon the achievements of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) so far. He mentioned that 19 states and UTs are already Open Defecation Free (ODF) in their urban areas and more than 94% of towns and cities already ODF. 
This has been achieved by the construction of nearly 60.53 lakh Individual Household Toilets (against Mission target of 66 lakhs; i.e. 91.7% constructed and under construction against target), and 4.7 lakh seats of community / public toilets (against Mission target of 5.07 lakh seats; i.e. 92.7% constructed and under construction against target) under the Mission. 
In the area of solid waste management, approximately, 40% of the total waste generated in the country is being processed, and 52% of wards are practising source segregation, he said.
The book of case studies titled ‘Transforming Urban Landscapes of India: Success Stories on Sanitation’ which documents good practices on sanitation from across the country was also released on the occasion. 
Simultaneously, a document detailing the enabling factors that have contributed to the success of SBM-U titled ‘Cleaning Urban India’ and the ‘Advisory on Public and Community Toilets’ focusing on an end-to-end approach for planning, designing, construction, operation and maintenance, and upgradation of public and community facilities and related infrastructure and a coffee table book highlighting activities undertaken in urban areas during the Swachhata hi Seva campaign (September 15–October 2, 2018) were also released by the Ministry.

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