Replicating learnings from Tamil Nadu and use in other states is possible. The major challenge may be contextualisation as each state and city has its own character and FSM has to be adapted to suit the needs. Some of the replicable features of TNUSSP initiatives in Tamil Nadu are:
- Clustering of Local Bodies (expanded to cover rural areas)
- Sharing of FSTP O&M costs between Local Bodies
- Ring-fenced account to safeguard funds for O&M of treatment / disposal facilities
- Recording details of facilities’ performance to promote transparency and accountability
- Standardised licensing system for private desludging operators
- Addressing sanitation workers’ safety and welfare requirements through licensing
- To tackle the prevalent stigma of ‘NIMBY’ around FSM and sanitation, TN followed co-location of FSTPs in existing MSW sites and RRPs.
Given that the technological options for FSM were new for Tamil Nadu, building capacities of local governments, demonstrating FSM in towns where it is a new concept, and developing an over-arching enabling environment, thereby regulating the whole sector, with institutional buy-in from the government are other key challenges while replicating TN’s efforts. The National FSM policy provided the impetus to the State government to recognise the criticality of FSM.