Urban India 2009 | Jan - Jun

Submitted by nanda on 14 July 2014 - 1:38pm
Water Supply for Urban Poor in India - A New Policy Paradigm

Rapid urbanization has brought in its wake a huge proliferation of slum population. The slum dwellers receive extremely low levels of service delivery, especially on water and sanitation. In absence of a well articulated policy on provision of basic services to urban poor, innovations have remained at the level of isolated pilot projects. The poor often incur far higher coping cost for receiving far lower level of services, as a proportion of the disposable household income. Free water for the poor is a myth and there have been successful innovations across the developed world which demonstrates the merits of a universal access regime in which the poor pay for improved services. This paper highlights the policy learnings from successful cases and makes a case for a new policy paradigm for water supply to poor communities in urban India. 

Shipra Saxena
Assessment of Implemented Accelerated Urban Water Supply Schemes in India

The consequence of urbanisation and industrialisation has left us with polluted rivers, contaminated soils, depleted wild life and exhausted natural resources. Increase in population has compelled the technocrats and the water managers to look for technically feasible alternatives for meeting demand of water for various uses. Accelerated Urban Water Supply Program (AUWSP) is formulated by Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India, New Delhi. These schemes were especially designed for the towns having population less than 20,000, which are often neglected and worst hit during the periods of drought. The schemes are implemented with the aim of community participation in water supply including rationalisation of tariff, separation of budget for water supply and sanitation from municipal budget, subsidies for well identified target group and water conservation. The efforts were tried to bring about greater private sector participation and investment in this  sector. This paper reveals the case study done by National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), to find out the status of the scheme with respect to role of user agency in implementation, operation and maintenance (O&M), sharing in finance during implementation, self reliance in O&M cost, quality and quantity of water supply. It was found that, the public participation was only in the form of 5% financial contribution given by the local bodies. Involvement of NGO and private organizations was not observed in any stage of implementation commissioning and operation & maintenance.

Kirti Y. Lanjewar, Shweta D. Vaidya, Vijaya A. Joshi & Subhash P. Andey
Harvesting Rainwater: A Noble Goal - A Common Responsibility

Often, as a frantic response to problems of water scarcity and consequent hardships faced by both urban and communities, India has invested heavily in rainwater harvesting. Unlike investment in large water resource systems, these efforts, by and large, lack hydrological planning and sound economic analysis: research on the impact of local water harvesting/groundwater recharge activities in India is very sparse. Rain water harvesting is enjoying a renaissance of sorts in the world, but it traces its history to biblical times. Extensive rain water harvesting apparatus existed 4000 years ago in Palestine and Greece. In ancient Rome, residences were built with individual cisterns and paved courtyards to capture rain water to augment water from city's aqueducts. As early as the third millennium BC, farming communities in Baluchistan and Kutch impounded rain water and used it for irrigation dams. This paper identifies critical issues in rainwater harvesting efforts in water-scarce regions of India. The objectives and goals of National Water Harvesters' Network (NWHN) are also discussed. It also lays emphasis on the awareness of the rainwater harvesting, its need, practical implementation and advantages. 

Neha Walia
Community - Led Sanitation Program, Sangli, Maharashtra

The Community-Led Sanitation Program at Sangli, Maharashtra is assisting 3,500 households across twelve slums in the city gain access to adequate sanitation facilities. The initiative is a partnership between the local government (Sangli Miraj Kupwad Municipal Corporation); international agencies (USAID, Indo-US FIRE-D, Cities Alliance); a non-government organisation (Shelter Associates) and community based organisation (Baandhani). The Sangli experience demonstrates how spatial mapping, social surveys and GIS can be used to ascertain community sanitation priorities and to develop feasible technical designs. The model emphasises individual toilets as a solution to urban poor's sanitation problems and also demonstrates effective community toilet management structures. The program effectively utilises donor, public and private funding along with facilitating households to invest their own resources towards infrastructure development. Provision of adequate sanitation facilities has proved to be an effective entry point for citywide slum up-gradation.

Pratima Joshi, Chetan Vaidya & Shikha Shukla
Innovative Financing Mechanism for Municipal Solid Waste Management in Secondary Cities of Ethiopia - The Case of Arba Minch City

Solid waste management is becoming a major public health and environmental concern in urban areas of many developing countries. The situation in Urban Ethiopia is particularly severe. The public sector is unable to deliver services effectively, regulation of the private sector is limited and illegal dumping of domestic and industrial waste is a common practice. In general, solid waste management is given a very low priority. As a result, very limited funds are provided to the solid waste management sector by the Local Authorities, and the levels of services required for protection of public health and the environment are not attained. The provision of adequate Solid Waste management facilities in urban areas is an important investment which safeguards health and well-being of the people living in cities, towns and municipalities as well as protection of the environment. Thus, the objective of this study is to explore the Innovative financing mechanisms for municipal solid waste management in rapidly growing secondary cities of Ethiopia, taking the Municipality of Arba Minch as a case study. The findings show that, there is inadequate financial capacity and inability of institutions to finance, administer and monitor disposal of solid waste management services. This demand has called for establishment of institutional options to finance the provision of waste management and sewage, increase capacity of solid waste disposal, transmission and distribution systems and this requires looking for new opportunities for financing Solid Waste management to deal with the existing challenges. Thus, this paper argues that since traditional approaches of financing solid waste management are not working, there is a need to adopt new and innovative approaches. 

Jonathan Ndeto
Policy oriented approach for multi modal transport system: Challenges ahead

Multimodal transport system does not require only integration of various modes but creation of appropriate interchange facilities, bus service restructuring, integrated planning, intelligent transport systems, etc. to move forward a step towards view of global transport. Integration of walk and bicycle may also be taken with public transport to enhance share of non-motorised transport and reduce use of personalized vehicles. Urban transport is a state subject and hence policy oriented approach is required to strengthen pedestrian mobility, non-motorized modes, MRTS, institutional/regulatory intervention and proper integration with other sectors such as education, health, property development, etc. In transport domain, policy must not be sectoral, segmented by modes. Instead, they should concentrate on entire journeys from origin to ultimate destination and view these as chains of trips and combinations of modes. Multimodal policy require a political and technical organization to co-ordinate all the individual elements of the transport system.

Pawan Kumar, S. Y. Kulkarni & M. Parida
Model Municipal Law (MML): Creating an Enabling Legislative Environment for Empowering Urban Local Bodies

The Model Municipal Law (MML) was developed to facilitate the implementation of the decentralization initiatives of Government of India (GoI) as articulated in the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act (CAA) and later reinforced by the reform agenda set out under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. The Law aims at facilitating state governments to amend their municipal acts such that they can institutionalize reforms aimed at empowering ULBs and enabling them to function as institutions of local government. The MML document consists of (a) a policy options paper for framing municipal laws; and (b) the law for one set of policy options. The entire process of developing the MML was anchored by the Ministry of Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation (MoUD&PA). It is envisaged that the MML would provide a conducive legislation framework for implementing GOIs urban reform agenda. 

Shikha Shukla
Issues in introducing a realistic water pricing regime in urban local bodies: Jabalpur Case Study

This case study describes unsuccessful efforts to introduce a realistic water-pricing regime in the city of Jabalpur, due to lack of potential will. It shows that in an unmetered water supply scenario, across the board subsidy of water charges benefits the richer consumers more than others since they have more availability of water due to more storage capacity on the same monthly fixed charge per connection. It shows that elected bodies lack the willingness to increase charges since they are afraid of backlash affect of the decision on their vote bank. However, the public is willing to pay provided reasonable services are made available to them and reasons for the water charges increases explained to them.

Aniruddhe Mukherjee