Suchitwa Mission

Suchitwa Mission is a Society registered under the Travancore Cochin Literary Scientific and Charitable Societies Registration Act (Act 12 of 1955).It is  an organization of Government of Kerala, under the Local Self Government Department responsible for evolving implementation strategy, providing policy in the sectors of sanitation and various solid and liquid waste management issues, providing technical inputs for sanitation and waste management projects and has been functioning as the nodal agency for assisting Cities, Municipalities and Panchayats in sanitation and  waste management aspects


1.1.  Introduction

The Government of Kerala had been spearheading its activities on environmental sanitation through two missions namely the Total Sanitation and Health Mission (KTSHM) and Clean Kerala Mission (CKM). The KTSHM had been focusing on implementation of Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC), now known as Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA), a centrally sponsored scheme primarily for safe disposal of human excreta through individual, institutional and community toilets. The CKM had been facilitating the Local Self Governments, especially the urban ones, to establish Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) management systems as envisaged under Environmental Protection Act. Making use of the initiatives of democratic decentralization and People’s Plan Campaign, both these missions had succeeded in achieving the objectives to a large extent as well as generated best practices. The overall coverage of individual sanitary latrines in the State projected as per TSC target is 100%, the highest in the country. Around 99% of the schools have toilet facilities. Around 40% of the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) have established MSW management systems solid waste management with almost full compliance to the MSW (Management & Handling) Rules, 2000. Around 57% of the ULBs have established it in partial compliance. However, it has been realized that more focused and integrated efforts are required to address the emerging challenges in sanitation and to achieve better health and environmental outcome, especially to reduce the disease burden and sustain and improve the assimilative capacity of ecosystems. Therefore, a strategy for addressing sanitation as a package of practice, as defined classically has been adopted.

Accordingly, a comprehensive action plan, namely, Malinya Mukta Keralam (MMK) Action Plan, has been prepared for tackling the issues and challenges in the seven components of sanitation accepted universally, i.e., safe disposal of human excreta, home sanitation and food hygiene, personal hygiene, solid waste management, liquid waste management, safe handling of drinking water and community environmental sanitation.  The action plan, released by Her Excellency, the President of India, on November 1, 2007, envisages its implementation in an integrated manner through a well defined operational strategy, mission mode action plan, organizational reform and resource pooling to achieve specific outputs and outcome. In order to implement the action plan, an organizational reform has already been affected by integrating the KTSHM and CKM as Suchitwa Mission (SM). The long-term objective of the Mission is to improve the living standards of the people of Kerala by inculcating in them a new sense and culture on health and environmental sanitation and to achieve a self-sustained health and environmental sanitation programme, managed and replicated by local initiative.

1.2 Mandate of Suchitwa Mission

Suchitwa Mission, under the Local Self Government Department, is responsible for evolving implementation strategy, providing policy in the sector of various waste management issues (solid and liquid) and has been functioning as the nodal agency for assisting Cities, Municipalities and Panchayats in all waste management aspects. The important mandates of the Mission are:

Assist Cities, Municipalities and Panchayats to evolve policies and strategies for  the   preparation of  Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) and programmes for solid and liquid waste management in the State

Scrutinize the DPRs prepared by Cities, Municipalities and Panchayats and to see whether the DPRs adhere to prevalent Acts and rules, viz ,The Municipal Solid Wastes (Management & Handling) Rules, 2000,Kerala Municipality Act 1994 and Kerala Panchayat Raj Act 1994 and also related legislations

Facilitate the preparation of detailed project reports (DPRs) by providing technical training to concerned staff of LSGIs and by consultations at individual LSGI levelAssist Cities,

Municipalities and Panchayats by providing technical approvals for their projects envisaged for solid and liquid waste management and providing grants which are allocated by Government from time to time

Coordinate various activities under Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC), now renamed as Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA) sponsored by the Government of India (Executive Director, Suchitwa Mission is the State Coordinator of NBA)

Coordinate various activities under Integrated Low cost Sanitation(ILCS) sponsored by the Government of India implemented in 8 urban local bodies      ( Suchitwa Mission is the  State Level Nodal Agency for ILCS)

Organise appropriate Information, Education and Communication (IEC) activities aimed at the attitudinal and behavioural change of people at large and capacity development of all concerned stakeholders(Executive Director, Suchitwa Mission is the State Director of Communication and Capacity Development Unit, funded by the Government of India)

Channelise funds from Government of Kerala and Government of India to LSGIs for the Implementation of sanitation and waste management projects.

1.3. Projects undertaken

The above outputs are to be realized through the implementation of the following programmes by Suchitwa Mission:

Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (Erstwhile Total Sanitation Campaign), CSS,  Ministry of Drinking Water &Sanitation, Govt. of India

Capacity & Communication Development Unit (CCDU) for Sanitation, 100% CSS, Ministry of Drinking Water &Sanitation,  Govt. of India

Integrated Low Cost Sanitation Programme, CSS, Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation, Govt. of India

Clean Kerala Programme, Plan scheme, Local Self Govt. Department, Govt. of Kerala

Enhancing sanitation facilities in wetland catchments of Kerala, Dept. of Environment, Govt. of Kerala

1.4. Thrust Areas

The thrust areas of waste management in Kerala are the following:

Coverage of sanitary latrines
Management of household solid waste
Management of wastes at community halls, public offices, educational institutions, hospitals, hotels and catering centresManagement of wastes at markets, slaughter houses and chicken stalls
Management of wastes at streets and public places
Management of wastes at tourist and pilgrim centres
Management of wastes in water bodies
Management of plastics
Management of e-waste
Liquid waste management, including septage management
Attitudinal changes of people
Legal and institutional arrangements

1.5.  Major Achievements during the last one year

In the previous year a document was prepared and submitted to the Government delineating the activities for achieving waste management and strengthening Suchitwa Mission for the purpose. Suchitwa Mission could initiate a lot of initiatives and activities during the last one year for solving issues of waste management in the State as below:

1.5.1.   Solid Waste Management and sanitation

Identified and approved indigenous technologies suitable for the State for source level treatment of waste through national level advertisement, exhibitions and interviews. Approved technologies include pipe composting, pot composting, bucket composting, bio-bin composting, pedestal composting, etc. in addition to vermi composting, ring composting and biogas plants.

Identified and approved modern technologies and technology providers for common waste treatment through national level advertisement, interviews and discussions. Technologies identified include integrated system, improved biomethanation, and pyrolisis/gasification.

Standardised the protocol for establishing household level waste management devices by fixing cost of each device through a long process of consultations, discussions, evaluations and finalization through an expert committee

Rs.10,000 each was provided from Suchitwa Mission fund for all the wards of 978 gram panchayats and 65 urban local bodies for pre-monsoon cleaning activities during 2012, which was named as ‘Mazhayethum Mumbe’.

Focus was given for establishing solid waste management facilities in 100 Gram Panchayats as part of 100 days programme of the Government. Proposals of 135 Gram Panchayats were emanated and technical approvals and financial assistance to all of them were provided during the last one year. An amount of Rs.6.46 crore has been released in this regard.(Rs.2.17 cr from Plan fund of SM and Rs.4.29 from NBA funds).Project proposals were vetted to see whwther the Local bodies have considered the provisions as laid down in Kerala Municipality Act and Kerala Panchayat Raj Act

Increased subsidy for source level  treatment of solid waste to the tune of 90% for composting and 75% for biogas systems.

Technical approvals for DPRs of 38 urban local bodies for source level treatment and 18 urban local bodies for common facilities were given during the last one year after conducting techno legal feacibilities.

Projects and programmes aiming at source level treatment of waste and upgradation of existing common facilities of urban local bodies costing Rs. 50 crore were designed during the year 2011-12 and the whole amount was utilized for the purpose.

Executive Director of Suchitwa Mission, being one of the four members of the committee constituted by the Government to study the plastic use in the State and to recommend the actions to be taken for enforcement of ban on plastic carry bags, submitted their report in January 2012, based on which GOs were issued.

Given a clarity for waste management in Kerala and wide publicity was given to the three-prong approach of the Government – source level treatment, upgradation  of existing common facilities of LSGIs using traditional technologies and process for establishing modern waste management techniques, including thermal.

Identified and approved 74 new service providers (earlier approved 21 service providers and three accredited agencies) to facilitate waste management in the rural and urban local bodies, through a process of advertisement, interviews and discussions.

Advocacy meetings of Mayors, Chairpersons and Standing Committee Chairpersons of Corporation and Municipalities at Thiruvananthapuram for motivating them for establishing/upgrading solid waste treatment facilities obeying the provisions under Kerala Municipalities act and related statutes and rules. Imparted training to engineering and health staff of rural and urban local bodies for preparing detailed project reports (DPRs) for establishing/upgrading solid waste treatment facilities.

Imparted training to engineering and health staff of rural and urban local bodies on modern slaughter houses. DPRs have been prepared for 18 municipalities and 8 gram panchayats. Technical approval for establishing slaughter houses were issued to 12 municipalities and 4 grama panchayats and 50% financial support was provided.

With the Co-operation of Thiruvananthapuram Corporation and Indian Railways  1 ½ meter wide and 1 ½ kilometer long railway platforms were constructed using waste in the Thiruvananthapuram city  at Kochu Veli and Murikkumpuzha.

Under NBA an amount of Rs.15.43 crore has been spent for carrying out various components like school toilets, anganwadi toilets, community sanitary complexes and SLWM projects etc.Revised project under NBA had been submitted to Govrnment of India and obtained sanction.

Under Integrated Low Cost Sanitation programme funded by the Government of India, toilets for urban poor are being constructed by Suchitwa Mission, with the help of NGOs. An amount of Rs.2.1 crore has been spent against central release of Rs.2.57 crore .

1.5.2    Liquid Waste Management

Identified suitable site at all districts, in association with district administration, for establishing septage treatment facilities in a standalone mode.Vetting of tender documents for septage management projects to see the requirement specifications are as per the provisions contained in statutes and guidelines framed by Pollution control board and in the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986

Finalised design for a feasible standalone septage treatment unit suitable for Kerala.

In order to fill the data gap in the septage management sector, Suchitwa Mission has initiated a study in association with the Centre for Water Resources Development and Management on Septage Management. Through the study it is expected to bring out the details about the quality and quantity of septage generated in the State and to suggest a strategy for septage management.

Support of Rs.1 crore was provided to the Kerala Water Authority to provide septage treatment facility in the Elamkulam Sewage Treatment Plant as a co-treatment plant.

Sewage treatment plant at Government Taluk Hospital, Sasthamcotta (eco-restoration of Sasthamcotta) is under construction. 322 latrines have been provided to BPL families at Sasthamcotta Lake catchment area. Six girl friendly toilets and nine biogas plants have been constructed as part of school sanitation. As part of public place sanitation Suchitwa Mission constructed two sanitary complexes and biogas plant at Sasthamcotta Lake catchment area.

Two workshops on Septage Management were conducted participating all concerned at Thiruvananthapuram on April and June 2012 to take stock of the situation. SmtSunitha Narayan, noted environmentalist, attended the second workshop.

1.5.3    Legislative Framework

Prepared and submitted proposal for amending the Kerala Municipal Act 1994 and Kerala Panchayati Raj Act 1994 for increasing the penalty for throwing away  solid waste at public places  and to insist the responsibility of treatment of waste in commercial establishments, chicken stalls, kalyanamandapams, etc. and thereby facilitated in the promulgation of ordinance.

Submitted proposal to the Government for insisting penalty for throwing plastic waste at public places and insist banning of free supply of carry bags and for fixing minimum cost for plastic bags.

Facilitated in issuing five numbers of Government Orders which give clarity and pace for source level treatment of waste and decentralized waste management by increasing subsidies to the tune of 90%.

1.5.4    Capacity Building

Considering the shortage of technically qualified persons in the field of waste management, Suchitwa Mission and Kerala Agriculture University has devised a Postgraduate Diploma Course on Solid Waste Management and the first batch was started during 2012. The first batch will pass out during February 2013.

A study has been initiated by Suchitwa Mission in association with the Centre for Management Development (CMD) for assessing the performance of the waste management programmes carried out by various rural and urban local bodies, taking stock of the performance of biogas and other devices established, assessing the utilization of funds for waste management, etc.
Several training/workshop/seminars were conducted at State and District levels.





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