At a time, sewage disposal has become one of the massive challenges the country was facing, the sanitation resource park (SRP) at Ammavaripet village set up by the Greater Warangal Municipal Corporation (GWMC) stands out as a beacon in faecal sludge (FS) management, that too in a cost-effective manner. And it’s no surprise that this one-of-its-kind project draws someone like Parameswaran Iyer, Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Government of India, all the way from Delhi.
Iyer, a retired IAS officer, who returned to India from United States on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to head the ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’, needs no second introduction for his expertise in sanitation having worked with the United Nations. Warangal, the second largest city in Telangana, which is in dire need of tackling tonnes of human excreta from the city’s burgeoning population, had found a cost-effective solution to deal with the FS management.
The GWMC in association with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI), Hyderabad, as its knowledge partner, set up a faecal sludge treatment plant (FSTP) through a public-private partnership (PPP) model. First up, the SRP operationalised a 15-KLD (kilo litres a day) FSTP based on thermal process, a system that pyrolysis (decompose organic material at high temperatures without oxygen) human solid waste into biochar.
“From the toilet to the final conversion of the biochar, the process is scientific and comprehensive,” V Srinivas Chary, Director, Centre for Energy, Environment, Urban Governance, and Infrastructure Development, said, explaining about the thermal process. The SRP also established a 10-KLD geotube, which use geo bags (non-mechanical technology) to dry the faecal sludge. The faecal sludge transferred to tubes/bags from the tankers is allowed for the filtration and thereby dewatering. Later, the effluent from geo bags is collected and sent for treatment.
Parameswaran Iyer, who keenly observed both the processes, said: “Faecal sludge management is an important part of sanitation story both in urban and rural. Both the models – thermal and geotube – are interesting. We have been in search of appropriate models that fit to all from technical, management and financial point of view.” It gave us a good idea in the road map to faecal sludge management, Iyer said, who was accompanied by Neethu Kumari Prasad, Commissioner of Panchayat Raj and Rural development and Warangal Urban District Collector Prashanth Jeevan Patil.