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India's FSSM Journey


Over the last decade, India has established and scaled a sustainable faecal sludge and septage management (FSSM) system – leading the way in innovative technology, operating model and community led sanitation entrepreneurship

Sanitation in India - Key Facts


Laying the Foundation
Launch of
National Urban Sanitation Policy

The NUSP encouraged the government to recognize sanitation as a state subject – calling onto State Governments and Urban Local Bodies (ULB) to prepare state and city sanitation plans

Performance Assessment through Service Level Benchmarks for Water and Sanitation

Launched by MoHUA to encourage internal performance improvement efforts by ULBs/States

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National Sanitation Rating of Cities

423 cities rated on various sanitation parameters like absence of visible open defecation, proportion of total human excreta generation that is safely collected, etc. under National Urban Sanitation Policy published by Ministry of Urban Development

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Performance Assessment through Service Level Benchmarks for Water and Sanitation

Launched by MoHUA to encourage internal performance improvement efforts by ULBs/States

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Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013

The act strengthened the previously passed Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act – reinforcing this ban by prohibiting manual scavenging in all forms and ensure the rehabilitation of manual scavengers

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Advisory note on septage management launched for State Governments

With 38% of the urban households in India relying on septic tanks system (as per the 2011 Census), it was urgent for state governments to bridge information gap on the design, construction, frequency of emptying, treatment and disposal of septage. The advisory note ensured State governments are provided with the requisite information.

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Building Momentum
Swachh Bharat Mission - Urban

Launched on 2nd October 2014, the mission aims at making urban India free from open defecation and achieving 100% scientific management of municipal solid waste in 4,041 statutory towns in the country

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Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation

Launched with the aim of providing basic civic amenities like water supply, sewerage, urban transport, parks as to improve the quality of life for all especially the poor and the disadvantaged. The Mission focuses on infrastructure creation that has a direct link to provision of better services to the citizens

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India's First FSTP (Feacal Sludge Treatment Plant)
  • First Faecal Sludge Treatment Plant (FSTP) built in the town of Devanahalli, in the State of Karnataka, was a collaborative effort between CDD Society, Bremen Overseas Research and Development Association (BORDA) and the Devanahalli Town Municipal Corporation

  • The FSTP helped in converting toilet waste from 6400 households into compost for reusable purposes in agriculture

  • Devanahalli's project paved the way in India to enable wider adoption of FSTPs

Primer on FSSM Implementation

Launched by MoHUA in collaboration with NFSSM Alliance, the primer added to the momentum of uptake of FSSM by states and cities, supporting them with operative guidelines to implement FSSM

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Start of the NFSSM Alliance
National Faecal Sludge and Septage Management Alliance

Formed with support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, with the mandate to build consensus around and drive the discourse on Faecal sludge and Septage Management (FSSM) at a policy level, and promote peer learning among members to achieve synergies for scaled implementation and reduce duplication of efforts.

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National Faecal Sludge and Septage Management Policy

The NFSSM Alliance is an innovative alliance working with the Government to deliver India’s first national policy response to the problem of faecal waste


Policy Push
National Faecal Sludge and Septage Management Policy

The Policy aims facilitate nationwide implementation of FSSM services in all ULBs, such that safe and sustainable sanitation becomes a reality for all in each and every household, street, town and city.

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FSSM gaining prominence
Swachh Survekshan’ Edition III kicks off

FSSM introduced as an indicator for the first time with a 4.6% weightage

Scale of FSSM implementation in India started off with 5 states
Swachh Survekshan’ Edition IV kicks off

Further increase in the weightage of FSSM indicators to 15% indicating its increasing importance in state and city sanitation plans

19 states adopted FSSM and wastewater management policies
400 FSTPs under construction, as per Swachh Survekshan 2020
1600 ULBs have registered desludging operators, as per Swachh Survekshan 2020
SafaiMitra Suraksha Challenge (SSC) was launched to accelerate safety of sanitation workers and promote FSSM

SSC is currently being implemented in 242 cities

FSSM Milestones in India

Focus areas supporting India's FSSM achievements

About the
NFSSM Alliance

The National Faecal Sludge and Septage Management (NFSSM) Alliance was convened in January 2016. The Alliance was convened to build consensus around faecal sludge and septage management. The Alliance with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation works in close collaboration with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and helped design a national policy on FSSM.​

and support