Sanitation systems are reactive & complaint-based rather than proactive & maintenance-based. Data & monitoring are weak.

Sewage network maintenance is more reactive than proactive:

ULBs spend their limited resources on clearing backlogs of complaints, cannot do preventive maintenance because of a lack of equipment/personnel 

  • 1-3 daily unattended complaints in DJB divisions on average

No data-based monitoring of systems and workers:

  • No mapping of household/institutional demand; no predictive model of where blockages are likely to occur, or where on-site solutions are needed

  • Equipment and assignments aren’t tagged, there are no job codes/logs to monitor assignments

  • No databases or identification of all workers in the city’s sanitation system; several enrolled on a rolling basis by contractors

Need data-based monitoring systems that predict repair/maintenance work, and log all assignments undertaken by workers

This insight applies to all types of unsafe sanitation work:

What this entails: Unblocking and cleaning sewer and wastewater drains

Frequency: Complaint-based, seasonal (rainy season) and occasionally for preventive maintenance

Location: Urban areas

What this entails: Emptying, collection and transport of human waste from septic tanks on an on-demand basis

Frequency: De-sludging frequency varies greatly, ranging from 6 months to 10-15 years

LocationPrimarily urban, mostly unplanned localities

What this entails: Cleaning faecal matter from railway tracks and platforms,railway toilets and platform toilets

Frequency: several times a day

Location: Rail network and railway stations

What this entails: Emptying of dry/single-pit latrines primarily in rural areas; daily collection and transport/emptying of fecal matter

LocationPrimarily rural

What this entails: Maintaining and operating sewage and faecal sludge treatment plants on a daily basis

LocationUrban, across the ~527 STPs/FSTPs in India

What this entails: Maintaining public/community toilets (often insanitary) on a daily basis

Location: Rural and urban CTCs, mostly in slums; public convenience shelters

What this entails: Operating and maintaining school toilets on a daily basis

LocationSchools – rural and urban

What this entails: Cleaning open drains and road sweeping, often encountering fecal matter due to open defecation and insanitary latrines connected to drains

LocationUrban – drains alongside roads

What this entails: Cleaning toilets in middle-high income households/institutions, encountering insanitary conditions at times

LocationUrban areas

Related Projects