(The Gist of Kurukshetra) TRANSFORMING
DRINKING WATER INFRASTRUCTURE
TRANSFORMING DRINKING WATER INFRASTRUCTURE
Development in India is distributed unevenly. The condition of
living in many districts lags far behind compared to progressing districts. Even
in better off states, progressing districts. Even in better off states, there
are pockets of backward areas, which need special interventions by the
Governments. To quickly and effectively transform these districts by 2022 in
line with the Government’s vision of creating a ‘New India’, NITI Aayog has
recently launched the Aspirational Districts Programme. In this context, 115
districts have been selected by NITI Ayog from 28 states based on six
socio-economic parameters, pertaining to health and nutrition, education,
financial inclusion and skill development, agriculture and water resources, and
basic infrastructure including drinking water is one of the core dimensions. For
this, the Government promotes Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), aided by
technology to bring radical transformation of these aspirational districts.
Besides, 35 districts that face Left Wing Extremism (LWE) violence and 15
districts from Jammu and Kashmir have also been included.
Step involved in Swajal Pilot Project:
Swajal Pilot Project follows the steps mentioned below.
Monitoring and Evaluation would be part of all these steps.
(a) Preparatory Steps: This includes dissemination of the Swajal
Pilot Project details and principles in the state and compilation of existing
water sources database, and institutional mobilization to implement the program.
(b) Scheme Selection: Schemes to be covered under various
categories are identified and pre feasibility studies to collect basic data of
the schemes are conducted.
(c) Implementation of the Project Cycle: Planning; and
Implementation of the schemes, following a set of defined principles and
activities and involving the community.
(d) Post-Implementation Support: Support to the GPs
post-implementation to undertake operation and maintenance and monitor
sustainability Community Contribution:
a) Contribution from stakeholders against capital cost of water
supply schemes: The Government of India and the State Government share will be
as per the existing NRDWP guidelines applicable to various states. The concerned
Gram Panchayat will contribute in cash 5% capital. General category users will
contribute INR 2000 whereas SC/ ST will contribute INR 1000 towards partial
capital cost sharing.
b) Contribution from stakeholders against operation and
maintenance of schemes: GP will contribute 15% of Annual devolved fund from
Finance Commission towards O&M expenses. The scheme will also be covered
initially for two years through insurance coverage by partial (50%) cost sharing
by the concerned Gram Panchayat and partial (50%) from Project cost. In case of
emergencies, the State Govt. will restore the defunct schemes and will also take
up replacement and expansion of the schemes after expiry of the insurance
- State Water and Sanitation Mission (SWSM): SWSM of the State is the
highest policy-making body for Swajal Pilot Project.
- Department of Drinking Water & Sanitation: DDWS or the department
responsible for implementation of rural drinking water supply is the nodal
agency for this Pilot Project and implement the project by coordinating with
the sector stakeholders such as health, education departments, etc.
District Water and Sanitation Mission: It reviews the
implementation of the Swajal Pilot Project; (ii) guide the District Water
and Sanitation Committee (DWSC) in planning, designing, implementation and
O&M of water supply scheme; (iii) approve the annual budget related to the
scheme; (iv) channel funds to GP and VWSSC; (v) assist GP/VWSSC in
procurement and construction of schemes; and (vi) provide dispute resolution
mechanism for GPs.
District Water and Sanitation Committee: The DWSC is
being established in pilot districts, if not already available, for
appraising the schemes up to a certain prescribed Limit (as per decisions
taken by the respective State Government), being responsible for the
selection of GPS, 505, and carrying out M&E. The committee is given
technical support by the DWSM.
District Level Implementing Agency: For implementation
of works of the Pilot Project, the implementing agencies district-level
officers provide technical guidance and assistance to the VWSSCs according
to the Swajal Pilot principles and will report to the DWSMs.
Gram Panchayat (GP): The GP mobilizes and support the
formation of VWSSC to ensure participatory approach. It empowers and
provides capacity support to the VWSSC, ensure O&M and cost recovery of the
scheme, and be responsible for fund flows, scheme approval, accounts
management, auditing, M&E, and conflict resolution.
Village Water Supply and Sanitation Sub Committee (VWSSC):
VWSSC is formed for each water supply scheme and for each village in the
case of multi village scheme, consisting of beneficiaries of the scheme. The
VWSSC is responsible for scheme planning, designing, procurement,
construction, O&M, tariff fixation and revision, community contributions
(capital and O&M), accounts management, and auditing. The VWSSC is also
responsible for procurement and construction of scheme.
The demonstrated success of reform in rural water supply and
sanitation sector based on demand driven approaches has contributed a lot
leading to the formulation of a central government level program for
mainstreaming Swajal principles countrywide. The lessons learnt from earlier
models based on demand driven and community centred principles include
partnership between village communities, NGOs and the government as the
facilitator and co-financing has worked successfully. The possibility of
misappropriating and misusing the funds becomes minimal if transparency at each
stage is adhered and monitored by stakeholders. Empowerment of PRIs is a viable
and sustainable option for scaling up the decentralized service delivery model.
The change from a supply based model to demand based model requires a new
mindset and investment at different levels for acceptance of the new model. Good
facilitation and appropriate techniques have to be put in place in community
management model. Some form of external support to communities is imperative to
ensure long term sustainability.