Over 3 lakh soak pits reported under Sujlam 2.0

Making tremendous progress under the Sujlam 2.0 campaign, as many as 3,07,349 individual household and community soak pits which can effectively manage greywater while replenishing the groundwater table, have been reported on the IMIS of the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS) as on May 12, 2022.

While the number of household soak pits constructed from March 22 to May 12, 2022 across the rural areas of the country is reported as 2,28,008; the number of community soak pits during the same period stands at 79,341, as per official data.

Among the top performers are Odisha with a total of 98,738 soak pits (22,725 community soak pits and 76,013 individual soak pits), Madhya Pradesh with 45,349 (16,011 community soak pits and 29,338 individual soak pits), West Bengal with 37,504 (775 community soak pits and 36,729 individual soak pits), Karnataka with 35,958 (215 community soak pits and 35,743 individual soak pits) and Maharashtra with 23,949 (1,511 community soak pits and 22,438 individual soak pits).

Given the overwhelming response from states, it is expected that the number of soak pits constructed by the end of the campaign (15th August 2022) will be multiplied severalfold.

The importance of greywater management cannot be understated, given that it improves sanitation and general quality of life in the rural areas; prevents contamination of groundwater and environmental pollution; and eliminates health hazards.

Sujlam 2.0 campaign was launched on World Water Day (March 22, 2022) in partnership with the concerned Ministries/Departments of the Government of India to continue the momentum of the 100 days Sujlam 1.0 campaign.  It was in keeping with the global theme of World Water Day this year – ‘Groundwater – to make the invisible visible,’ following the principles of 3Rs – Reduce, Reuse and Recharge.

The campaign would focus on the creation of community and institutional level greywater management assets in Panchayat Ghars, Primary Health Centres, Anganwadi Centres, Community Centres and other government institutions and simultaneously support the efforts of retrofitting of existing individual household toilets.

In this regard, all States and UTs have been asked to prioritise villages with 100 per cent functional household tap connections (FHTCs) under Jal Jeevan Mission and provide appropriate assistance for implementation of solid and liquid waste management.

As far as funding is concerned, SBM-G funds could be used for interventions to be undertaken related to ODF sustainability and for the construction of soak pits and other suitable greywater management in the villages as per the guidelines.  Additional funds can be availed in convergence with other Schemes such as 15th FC and MGNREGA.

Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation in an advisory to States and UTs in this regard and has listed key activities, guidelines and funding norms.

The key activities proposed under the campaign are:

  • Villages with 100 per cent FHTCs coverage to have GWM arrangements through household/community level soak-pits or other greywater management arrangements.
  • To construct community soak pits/other greywater treatment technologies to manage greywater at all drainage discharge points, water points, all institutions and public buildings.
  • To clean at least one water body of any solid and liquid waste; and prevention of contamination of waterbodies with proper greywater and solid waste management arrangements.
  • To retrofit all existing IHHLs
  • All new households to have IHHL

These activities should be taken up in a mission mode, so that the villages with greywater management which are covered with 100 per cent FHTC under JJM can be showcased to scale-up the campaign and as sustainable models in the country in rural areas.

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