Water Governance
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Water Governance

An Evaluation of Alternative Architectures

Edited by Asanga Gunawansa and Lovleen Bhullar

This insightful book explores urban water governance challenges in different parts of the world and highlights the advantages and disadvantages of publicly run, privatized, and public–private partnership managed water facilities.
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Chapter 8: Implementing PPP programs in the urban water and sanitation sector: some insights from the Indian experience in selected states

Ashwin Mahalingam


The Indian Planning Commission’s draft approach paper to the 12th Five Year Plan (2012–17) notes that India’s urban population has grown from 285 million in 2001 to 380 million in 2011 (Planning Commission, 2011). Urban infrastructure will need to be augmented considerably in order to accommodate this growing population. In particular, considerable investment must be undertaken to rehabilitate, create and operate water supply and sanitation systems due to the critical role that these systems play in promoting healthy and productive lifestyles, and spurring economic growth. The 11th Five Year Plan (2007–12) pointed out that 27 percent of the population in Class I cities (cities with population greater than 100 000) did not have direct access to drinking water, while for cities with population lower than 20 000 this figure increased to 42 percent (Planning Commission, 2008). Only 63 percent of urban residents have access to sewerage and sanitation facilities. Based on these figures, the 11th Five Year Plan estimated an outlay of nearly US$28 billion for water and sanitation projects over the plan period (Planning Commission, 2008). These numbers are expected to rise for the 12th Five Year Plan period (2012–17). Executing and financing such large volumes of projects poses a major challenge and it is unclear whether government departments possess the technical, human and fiscal resources to meet this challenge on their own.

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