Government formulates “National Action Plan for Mechanized Sanitation Ecosystem” scheme for cleaning of sewers and septic tanks

New Delhi : Government has formulated a scheme “National Action Plan for Mechanized Sanitation Ecosystem (NAMASTE)”, a joint project of Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), which aims to achieve the following outcomes:


  1. Zero fatalities in sanitation work in India.
  2. All sanitation work is performed by skilled workers.
  3. No sanitation workers come in direct contact with human faecal matter.
  4. Sanitation workers are collectivized into Self Help Groups (SHGs) and are empowered to run sanitation enterprises.
  5. All Sewer and Septic tank sanitation workers (SSWs) have access to alternative livelihoods.
  6. Strengthened supervisory and monitoring systems at national, state and Urban Local Body (ULB) levels to ensure enforcement and monitoring of safe sanitation work.
  7. Increased awareness among sanitation services seekers (individuals and institutions) to seek services from registered and skilled sanitation workers.


Year-wise and State-wise details of persons died due to hazardous cleaning of sewers and septic tanks during the last five years as reported by Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJE) is Annexed.

MoHUA has shortlisted type of machineries and core equipments required for maintenance works, safety gear for Safai Mitras (workers engaged in sewer maintenance and desludging operations). The same is also available on the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) portal for ease of their procurement by States/ULBs. The objectives are adequate availability of required equipment for mechanized desludging. MoHUA also developed a tool to calculate the required workforce and equipment for ULBs to meet their requirements depending upon their population, existing sewer networks and peculiar issues faced by them which can help ULBs to plan for mechanized desludging. Provision of central financial assistance for desludging has been made available for less than 1 lakh population cities under Swachh Bharat Mission – Urban.

Skill Development and trainings of Safai Mitras is being taken up with the support of the MoSJE through the National Safai Karamchari Finance Development Corporation (NSKFDC). Various uniform designs, meant for different categories of sanitation workers have been disseminated to States/Union Territories. Ministry also promotes ULBs and Safai Mitras to avail loans provided by MoSJE under its Swachhta Udyami Yojna to procure equipment and vehicles for cleaning sewers and septic tanks.

The Government has formulated various structure like Responsible Sanitation Authority (RSA) and Emergency Response Sanitation Unit (ERSU) to ensure that only trained professionals are exposed to any potential hazard with appropriate safety gear, as a last resort, if the mechanized equipment is unable to make necessary improvement.




Year-wise and State-wise details of death of persons during last five years due to hazardous cleaning of sewers and septic tanks

S. No. Name of State/UT Number of Deaths
2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Andhra Pradesh 2 9 2 0 0
Bihar 2 0 0 0 0
Chhattisgarh 0 1 0 0 0
Chandigarh 3 0 0 0 0
Delhi 13 11 10 4 4
Gujarat 7 2 14 0 5
Haryana 11 6 14 0 5
Karnataka 3 9 7 2 5
Kerala 1 0 0 0 0
Maharashtra 5 6 15 4 0
Madhya Pradesh 0 0 1 0 3
Odisha 0 0 0 0 2
Punjab 8 2 3 0 1
Rajasthan 6 2 5 0 0
Tamil Nadu 7 9 13 9 5
Telangana 2 2 0 0 2
Uttar Pradesh 13 8 26 0 0
West Bengal 9 0 6 0 4
  Total 92 67 116 19 36


This information was given by the Minister of State for Housing & Urban Affairs,  Kaushal Kishore, in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.

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