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This study assesses a project in Uttarakhand during which water schemes and rural sanitations were developed to address the water crisis in this State.

TitleHimmotthan Water Supply and Sanitation initiative, Uttarakhand Himalayas
Publication TypeResearch Report
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsSmits, S., Shiva, R., Kapur, D.
Pagination58 p.
Date Published12/2015
Publication LanguageEnglish

Uttarakhand, with presence of mighty glaciers and perennial rivers, is a water rich state. Also, due to its topography, the state receives decent rainfall. Ironically, while Uttarakhand serves the water demand of other states of northern India, the population of Uttarakhand is facing a water crisis, especially pertaining to drinking water. Rudimentary infrastructure for the provision of safe drinking water is still absent in many parts of the hilly regions. Tata Trusts through Himmotthan and its partners in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh has been working to address this situation by constructing taking a participatory community-based approach to developing 289 water schemes and above 5,000 rural sanitation units, thus benefiting more than 46,000 rural people of the states.

As part of the Community Water Plus project, this study set out to assess this experience in the State of Uttarakhand, specifically focusing at how the community management arrangements are developed during the project implementation, and how these are performing and supported after project completion. It validates the performance of the community-based management in terms of operation, maintenance and administration and the eventual service levels obtained by users in four villages of Jaunpur block of Tehri Gahrwal district. The assessment also includes an estimate of the resource implications of these community management and support arrangements.
The Himmotthan Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative involve three categories of organisations:

  • The first category is formed by civil society organisations. This includes Himmotthan Society (an associate organization of Tata Trusts) itself, which help leverage funds for the initiative through Tata Trust and other like-minded agencies, whilst carrying out programme management and providing technical know-how to the activities. They roll-out each project in the field through Village Empowerment Committees (VECs), who have been assisted by a local Implementation Support Agency (ISA) which has been appointed by the Himmotthan/Tata Trusts. In this study we focus on one of them: the Himalayan Institute and Hospital Trust (HIHT).
  • The second category of organisations is the government entities. The relationship between the NGOs and government is mainly coordination. Himmotthan Society liaises with the State and district governments on issues such as where to implement the programme, through the State Level Steering Committee and District Level Coordination Committee. Also, the initiative started off by building on good practices developed by the State government's rural water supply programme, Swajal, and improved upon those. Only recently, the relationship with the lowest level of Panchayat Raj Institution (PRI), the Gram Panchayats, has been strengthened to a more contributory one.
  • The third category is the private sector, in the form of an independent agency that provides technical and oversight support to the programme.

All in all, this set-up is characterised as one of community-management, with NGO-support.

The water supply and sanitation initiative is implemented following a project cycle consisting of four phases: pre-planning (including pre-feasibility), planning, implementation and support to operation and maintenance. During the planning phase, communities can choose from three main technical options: gravity-fed piped scheme, pump scheme and rainwater harvesting. Given the terrain gravityfed piped schemes are the most common technology. These typically consist of a protected spring or intake in a rivulet. The captured water is treated through roughing filters, in case of rivulate Slow Sand Filters are being used for water filtration. Water is then conveyed to the village, where there is a Clear Water Reservoir (CWR) and where water is chlorinated. Distribution takes place through a number of tap stands. Villages are very concentrated, and there are around 4-5 houses that share on tap stand.During implementation, villagers contribute around 10% of the capital cost.


Citation Key81971



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