DECEMBER 2004 VOLUME 1 ISSUE 2
India’s Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Scenario
Urban Water Supply
The present status of urban water supply and sanitation in India is ex-tremely inadequate. According to an estimate, about 89 percent of theurban population – about 57 per cent with house service connectionsand about 32 per cent with standpost - had access to safe drinking water supply facilities at the end of the Ninth Five Year Plan i.e. March 2002.However, the figure does not reflect adequacy and quality of water. Asper the recent statistics, the water availability per day is exceedinglylimited ranging from 2 to 8 hours in a day as against 22 hours Sri Lankaand 24 hours in Malaysia. Thus, even the figure of 89 per cent is per-haps misleading. The service levels also vary dramatically among differ-ent categories of the cities. Even in some of the Class-I cities (havingpopulation above 100,000) the service levels fall below the nationalstandard of 135 lpcd, with Class-II cities (having population between10,000-20,000) receiving only an average of 55 lpcd.Further, on the urban water supply front, transmission and distributionnetworks are largely of very poor quality, in addition to being outdatedand badly maintained, resulting in higher operating costs. Physicallosses are typically high, ranging from 25 to over 50 per cent. Low pres-sures and intermittent supplies lead to back siphoning, resulting in con-tamination in distribution network. Unsatisfactory service standards haveled to low tariff structures, which in turn have resulted in poor resourceposition of ULBs, poor maintenance and service – a vicious circle.
At the end of the Ninth Five Year Plan, 60 per cent of the urban popula-tion had sanitation facilities – 30 per cent with sewerage facilities andabout 30 per cent with on-site sanitation (low cost sanitation and septictank) facilities. Of the total municipal waste water generated in cities andtowns, less than half is collected and what is collected, less than half goes through some form of treatment (invariably primary) before finaldisposal. The high cost of conventional sewage treatment places thisoption out of the reach of the most of the urban local bodies. It is esti-mated that about 80,000 metric tones of solid waste is generated inurban areas every day, of which about 60 per cent is collected and dis-posed of as open dumping.
Result of Deteriorating Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Sector
Inadequate urban water supply and sanitation facilities and deterioratingurban environment have been deterring India’s social and economicdevelopment and affecting adversely the quality of life of its people,particularly the urban poor.The substantial deficiencies in supply of potable water has led to wide-spread water- borne diseases like diarrohea, hepatitis, jaundice, round-worm and hookworm which not only affect public health, but also impacton the environment and add to economic costs. It is estimated that 30.5million Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALY) are lost each year due topoor water quality, sanitation and hygiene. If considering merely theeconomic value of life year at the average per capita GDP of US $ 300per person per annum, the annual loss of 30.5 million DALYs is aboutUS $ 9150 million.Inadequate sanitation facilities have caused contamination of surfaceand ground water contributing to environmental pollution. Inadequatecollection and treatment of solid waste has led to unhygienic conditions,namely soil and water contamination, chocking of drains etc.ADB’s involvement in India’s urban sector began in 1993 with TA toprepare an urban infrastructure project in Karnataka. Since then ADBhas provided 22 TA grants totaling US$ 11.35 million to prepare projectsand support capacity building. Since 1995, ADB has approved loan for seven projects in the urban sector. Totalling to US$ 1.4 billion; Karna-taka Urban Infrastructure development (US$ 105 million), RajasthanUrban Infrastructure Development (US$ 250 million), Karnataka UrbanDevelopment and Coastal Environment Management (US$ 175 million),Urban Environmental Infrastructure Facility (US$ 200 million), KolkataEnvironment Improvement (US$ 250 million), and Housing Finance Iand II (US$ 420 million). In addition, ADB has approved a loan of US$500 million for Gujarat Earthquake Rehabilitation and Reconstruction in2001.The TA of US$ 200 million ADB loan assistance to Madhya Pradesh isthe first urban sector assistance to the State. Other recent ADB’s assis-tance to the state includes: Madhya Pradesh Public Resource Manage-ment Program (US$ 250 million approved in October 2001), andMadhya Pradesh Power Sector Development Program (US$ 350 millionapproved in November 2001). The former is aimed at assisting state-level fiscal reforms through a structural adjustment facility. As part of fiscal reforms and public sector restructuring program the GoMP,amongst others, is committed to reduce primary deficit to below 1.0 per cent of state domestic product, introduction to value-added tax, im-proved cost recovery – water charges to cover at least 75 per cent of O& M expenditure and adoption of flexible wage policy enabling ULBs tohave separate service conditions and salary scales.Since 1990s, the Government of India has treated external assistance tostates as ‘additionality’ over the Plan allocations. This assistance ischanneled on the basis of a 70:30 loan / grant ratio at a fixed interestrate. The foreign exchange risk is borne by the GoI. The state of Madhya Pradesh, although accounting for 13.5 % of the geographicalarea, 8 % of the population, and more than 5 % of states’ domesticproduct, has received comparatively low levels of external assistance.
ADB Assistance in Urban Sector in India
Urban Services Project CitiesBhopal Gwalior Indore Jabalpur
Population served by piped water supply 67 68 68 89Population with household connections 37 62 48 34Unaccounted for Water 64 64 52 52Hours of supply 2-3 hrs 1 hr 1hr 2-3 hrsAverage lpcd 87 93 66 67
Sanitation and Drainage
Population served by reticulation system 7 9 10 0Population with served with septic tank 30 30 44 50Septic tanks working satisfactorily 11 2 8 5Household reporting problems with flooding 41 20 33 32
Waste collected 60 60 60 60Waste to safe disposal 0 0 0 0
Existing Provision of Urban Services in four Project Cities in M.P.