Public Administration Mains 2018 : Model Question and Answer - 98

(Public Administration Paper II / Chapter: Urban Local Government)

(Current Based) Question: Dhaka’s transformation of water services has lessons for India. Comment. (15 Marks/250 Words)

Model Answer:

The long journey to transform Dhaka’s water scenario began in 2005 — the same year that the Government of India launched its first national urban renewal mission. In that year, the Government of Bangladesh accorded high priority to safe water and appropriate sanitation as part of its National Poverty Reduction Strategy. The Asian Development Bank rose to the occasion by offering support to the Dhaka Water and Sewerage Authority (DWASA) to carry out reforms in the water services sector and build its capacity, while at the same time connecting the urban poor through community mobilisation.

Trenchless technology for laying pipes allowed faster execution and reduced inconvenience to the residents, so commonly observed in trench digging works in most Indian cities.Payments of water bills can be made through the internet, mobile phones and banks. A citizens’ grievance redressal centre has been established in each zone to resolve complaints regarding the services.

As with megacities in India, highly inadequate drainage and sewerage networks, and lack of sewage treatment continue to pose major challenges — 70 per cent of the city has no form of sewerage and there is little sewage treatment. As DWASA’s efforts have gathered momentum, a number of other donors have stepped forth to be a part of the movement. The World Bank is currently engaged in supporting work on sewerage and sewage treatment for Dhaka. Finally, the shift from groundwater to surface water will have to be planned and implemented. (Total Words- 239)

Valuable inputs from The Indian Express Coulmn: ‘Ripples of Reform in Dhaka' by Isher Judge Ahluwalia

(Linkages: Dhaka and Water Services Reforms, Urban Poor and Piped Network, India and Lack of Sewerage Treatment)

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