Skip to main content
TitleCitizens’ participation in improving sanitation services in urban India : report card on water and sanitation services in Madhya Pradesh
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsKumar, A, Kumar, Y
Pagination13 p.; ill.; 17 refs.; 1 tab.; 4 fig.
Date Published2008-11-19
Place PublishedDelft, The Netherlands
Keywordsaccess to sanitation, access to water, decision making, decision support systems, india, india madhya pradesh, india madhya pradesh bhopal, urban areas, urban communities, urbanization

In the rapidly urbanizing India, almost one –fourth of the population is living in the cities. Participation of the citizen in the decision making process is extremely important and necessary. The paper is based on using citizens’ report card to assess performance of the water and environmental sanitation services in Bhopal municipal corporation and six small towns of Madhya Pradesh state in India. The report card reveals that 17% of the respondents in Bhopal are not able to access the municipal water and are dependent on the privately organized ground water extraction through bore-wells. About 20 % of the respondents, mostly poor and normally living in the slum are stated to be defecating in the open areas in Bhopal. Of the respondents in the city reported having household toilets, 31% of the respondents have their toilets connected to septic tanks that are in turn connected to open drains carrying other domestic grey water. A small Nagar Panchayat Ajaygarh, has only 45% of the families having household toilets, since there are no other option like a sanitary complex or public toilet, the remaining population defecates in open places. Personality centric politics and lack of administrative desire are responsible for not utilizing the link between effective and accountable service delivery with higher willingness of the citizens’ to pay taxes. Municipalities must engage in proactive planning engaging the citizens. This may not be possible without adequate funds, necessary policy reforms, stringent implementation guidelines and watchdog structures created by the provincial Governments and municipal authorities. Some of the recommendations are: realisation of users’ fee is possible at decentralized level by strengthening ward level committees to manage water and sanitation; investment is required at building systematic assessment and support to municipality in participatory planning in each town involving concerned stakeholders; the report starkly points to the unwillingness of the rich and influential to pay any increased user fees. A reversal is essential and is possible only with user fees linked with consumption to bring in equity and efficiency in service delivery system; also, there is a need to strengthen the institutional mechanism for feedback from the citizens. (authors abstract)

Custom 1205.40, 71, 822




The copyright of the documents on this site remains with the original publishers. The documents may therefore not be redistributed commercially without the permission of the original publishers.

Back to
the top