India’s waste management woes are huge. With the tap of a button, countless houses and hotels in Trivandrum are finding a solution to their septage waste management woes in an automated way. The ‘Smart Trivandrum’ app was launched in December last year to help the public to identify those who dump waste in the city and to know about the waste treatment system.
A month after the online septage waste management and licensing system was put in place by the city corporation, the facility has been availed 450 times. As many as 14 private tankers have registered in the system, transporting the septage waste from the households and institutions to the Muttathara waste treatment plant run by the corporation. The civic body has been able to receive revenue over Rs 15 lakh with the initiative. The process is facilitated by the Smart Trivandrum App.
The facility was launched to streamline the process of disposing septage waste and preventing disposal in water bodies and other public spaces. "With this initiative, we have been able to stop the illegal discharging of septage waste in drains. It was noted that private tankers are responsible. That could be stopped," says Mayor V K Prasanth. "Moreover, the corporation's own tanker vehicles which are involved in septage waste collection could not completely cater to the requirement arising in the city. With the private tankers, this has also been addressed," he says.
With the new licensing system, private tankers receive license only after adhering to the parameters set by the civic body. The vehicle has to align with a set of guidelines. The vehicles need to be colour coded in brown, GPS equipped, the discharge valve size limited to four inches, the vehicle should be labelled as a septage vehicle and the number of the Anti-Littering Enforcement Team (ALERT) squad needs to be displayed. At present, 14 private takers equipped with GPS and colour coded in brown are under operation. "The trial run began a month ago and ever since it has been operational. The service can be availed through the Smart Trivandrum App and everything is automated. Once the registration is complete, the user can choose the tanker capacity specific to their requirements. In an hour of placing the request, the private tankers will arrive at the location and collect septage. We have replaced the manual system and this has helped in the fast rendering of the service," says a corporation official.
Once a user places a request in the app, the user receives an OTP number. The same request is sent to any of the 14 tankers in the form of a call or message. They can either choose to respond or decline. An app dedicated to processing the requests is also used by those operating the tankers. Once the request is accepted, the tanker personnel calls the user and location details are shared. A digital trip pass is given to the tankers only when the OTP received by the user is shared to the tanker personnel.
A glass tube running the whole length of the tanker is also incorporated to ensure that the user knows the whole capacity has been reached and ensure that the tankers do not run parallel service or transport septage waste from other places. Once the tanker is filled, it is transported to the Muttathara sewage waste treatment plant where it is discharged.