The Jal Shakti Ministry has launched a drive to create 1 million soak pits in villages across the country over the next 100 days. This is being done to help manage greywater and prevent the clogging of water bodies.
The ministry launched 'SUJALAM' as part of the 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' celebrations to create more and more open defecation-free plus villages by undertaking wastewater management at the village level particularly through the creation of 1 million soak pits and also other greywater management activities.
Sustainable Management Of Waterbodies
Although the Centre lacks a comprehensive estimate of the total number of soak pits needed countrywide, states have been asked to develop their own targets. The campaign will not only build soak pit for the management of greywater in villages but will also aid in sustainable management of waterbodies.
"The household or community soak pit is the simplest solution for greywater management," said Additional Secretary Arun Baroka, who heads flagship Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). He pointed out that in villages greywater can be safely and inexpensively filtered through a soak pit. A household soak pit costs ₹3,000-5,000 in most cases, he added.
The key activities that will be organised in the villages under this drive include:
- Organise community consultations, open-air meetings and gram sabha meetings to analyse the current situation
- Pass a resolution to maintain ODF sustainability and achieve needed number of soak pits to manage the greywater
- Develop a 100 days' plan to undertake sustainability and soak pit construction-related activities
- Construct requisite number of soakpits
- Retrofit toilets where needed
- Ensure all newly emerging households in the village have access to toilet
While the Swachh Bharat Mission's first phase was to achieve open defecation free (ODF) status by constructing a toilet in every rural household and persuading all villagers to use it, the second phase, (ODF+) aims to sustain and extend these sanitation gains by focusing on solid and liquid waste management.