Trichy: City Wide Inclusive Sanitation (CWIS) has upgraded the facilities at Khajamalai decanting station where septic tank cleaners from various parts of the city used to dump faecal waste for safe disposal.

As the spillage of faecal waste at the decanting station was letting out a foul smell in the vicinity, the project authorities said that the concrete platforms around the collector well and better drainage facilities will get rid of the unhygienic condition that prevailed in the facility. Trichy corporation has converted three UGD pumping stations in the city at Khajamalai, Vayalur road and Pookollai into decanting station to dump faecal waste collected by septic tank cleaners. Around 60 to 70 desludging operators utilise the facility by paying Rs 30 per trip.

Among the three decanting stations, the one at Khajamalai was identified as the busiest. It pumps faecal waste to Panchapur sewage treatment plant (STP) where the septage is processed and disposed of. Trichy was selected as one of the four Indian towns or cities under CWIS project for developing the sanitary infrastructure through international support in February.

It was in this context that the project authorities came forward to develop the Khajamalai decanting station’s infrastructure a couple of months ago.

CWIS Trichy has installed concrete platforms and better drainage arrangements at cost of Rs 25 lakh to enable the septic tank cleaners to dump the septage inside the collector well at the pumping station without spillage. “We carried out a survey in which the desludging operators demanded a toilet for them inside the decanting station. So, a toilet has been built inside the station,” Parameshwar Hegde, team lead of CWIS Trichy, said. A security room has also been installed at the decanting station for better monitoring of the visiting trucks. Besides this, landscape development has been carried out by installing sitting benches and tree plantations to make people visit the decanting station take a casual walk. The aim is to fan behavioural change among the public in eliminating the stigma associated with the decanting station. “We have developed Khajamalai decanting station as a model to be emulated in other decanting stations in the city as well as in the state. Civic bodies can visit and replicate it in their jurisdiction,” S Yohananthan, specialist, engineering, CWIS said. As a section of septic tank trucks are already equipped with GPS tracking devices, the infrastructure upgrade is touted to improve Trichy’s septage management practice as desired by the Swachh Bharat Mission.

CWIS has also launched a sensitisation drive by painting the walls of the decanting station with awareness messages.