PPP mulled for improving cities' water supply, sewer systems

Government open to PPP as local bodies failing to improve infra, says urban development MoS Saugata Roy


Danish Raza | February 22, 2011

The government is mulling on public-private-partnership (PPP) projects as solutions to cities' growing water woes and drainage distress.

The failure of local bodies to provide and mainatain adequate infrastructure for water supply and sewer efficiency could prove to be PPP minefield with the urban development ministry showing willingness to engage with private players for civic infrastructure.

Minister of state for urban development Saugata Roy said that local bodies may not be equipped to handle the growing pressure on civic demands and there is a need to explore options such as PPP.

The minister highlighted the plight of urban centres citing figures from various reports. One of the reports states that there are only 39 cities in India where the population has access to safe water. Around 25 percent of the country's urban population has no access to tap water and is dependent on sources such as tube well and hand pumps.

The sanitation situation is far worse, the minister claimed. While only two-third of all urban households had a sewer line connection, Roy said that only about 20 percent sewage generated was treated before disposal in class I cities and Class II towns.

The minister said that in near future, the government would encourage public private partnership (PPP) projects for development of cities in the country under various schemes such as Jawaharlal Nehru national urban renewal mission (JNNURM) and other schemes which required cities/states to undertake necessary reforms for the purpose.

“The overall investment requirement for improving infrastructure in cities is assessed to be much higher than current level of investments. Further, there is significant gap in capacity of urban local bodies to successfully implement policies and projects,” the minister said.  




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