IWA Publishing

Project: Alandur Sewerage Project, India

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1. Overview

The Alandur Sewerage Project is a unique case of Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) in the urban sanitation sector. As the first project in the municipal sanitation sector to take the PPP route in India, this example highlights a model which represents an effective institutional and financial approach towards the implementation of sustainable sewerage services in India. A combination of a well-planned communications strategy together with a high level of community involvement and a wide range of options available for users to finance the service are identified as key factors that have makes the Alandur Sewerage Project a success.

2. Background

Alandur is a town located in the South-East coast of India in the state of Tamil Nadu. The municipality is a residential suburb of Chennai with a population of 165,000 (approximately 25% of which lives in slums).

Prior to the start of the project in 1996, almost 98% of households had individual septic tanks. The fecal sludge and septage from these facilities was periodically collected, but due to a lack of a treatment facility, waste was disposed of in low-lying areas beyond Municipal limits. Where collection systems failed, overflow from tanks discharged into open drains accumulating as stagnant water. Both these situations posed immense health hazards for residents including contamination of the groundwater and creating of breeding grounds for mosquitoes and other insect vectors.

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