This paper highlights issues in financing urban infrastructure in Punjab, especially limitations in the mobilisation of local municipal finances, fiscal decentralisation, accessing capital market and improving urban management practices. The paper argues that there is an urgent need to go for reforms in these areas to enhance municipal fiscal capability for financing urban infrastructure in the state. A number of alternatives, strategies and innovations to meet the growing urban challenges and financing urban infrastructure in the state have been suggested.
The deteriorating quality of services in urban areas is a major issue confronting developing countries. Recent research confirms that the cause of this problem lies in the form in which governance prevails in an area. Hence, there is an urgent need to examine the problems involved in service delivery in the context of good governance norms. It is against this backdrop that the author examines the extent of 'participation' in the operation of three municipal services - water supply, sewerage and disposal of solid waste - in three urban centres of Meerut district of Uttar Pradesh. The analysis reveals that participation is limited to the public sector and to certain influential groups within the local government setup, which has led to deterioration in service levels. The author suggests that the centre, state and local government units should create conditions to promote popular participation in service delivery at the local level and that innovative practices should be developed and implemented with the active involvement of the citizens.