Sanitation Programme Design and Setup to Scale FSM in Tamil Nadu


The Government of Tamil Nadu(GoTN) has been a pioneer in the sanitation sector by recognising the importance of total sanitation as core to improving public health standards.In 2014, Tamil Nadu was the first state to announce the ‘Operative Guidelines for Septage Management for Local Bodies in Tamil Nadu’ (OG) which seeks to standardise existing containment structures,and systematise and regulate the process of collection, transportation, treatment and disposal of fecal sludge. Since the issue of the OG, Tamil Nadu’s strategy has been to demonstrate improvements along the sanitation chain with a focus on Fecal Sludge Management (FSM). The Tamil Nadu Urban Sanitation Support Programme (TNUSSP) was launched in 2015, to support the State in achieving improvements along the entire urban sanitation chain across 663 Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) covering a population of 25 million. TNUSSP has conceptualised and is scaling up interventions ranging from policy, institutional and financial, to capacity building, behaviour change and enterprise development. This paper reflects on the design of the programme, the institutional set up and lessons learnt.