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This report details the services provided by Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikaran (MJP) in Amravati District, Maharashtra which is a Multi-Village Scheme.

TitleMaharashtra PHED support to community-managed water supply, Amravati district
Publication TypeResearch Report
AuthorsV. Chary, S, Jasthi, S, Uddaraju, S
Pagination42 p.
Date Published10/2015
PublisherIRC, Administrative Staff College of India Hyderabad (ASCI)

This report details the services provided by Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikaran (MJP) in Amravati District, Maharashtra which is a Multi-Village Scheme. The implementation of the large-scale multi-village Scheme, covering 156 villages and two towns in the Amravati District, has resulted in better water service provision in the rural areas of the district. It received acclaim both at international and national levels owing to achievement of 100 per cent metered household connections.

Maharashtra is covered by a saline track zone in the Purna River Basin, covering a total area of 4,692 square kilometres (sq km) in the Amravati, Akola, and Buldhana Districts. The ground water in this region is saline and unfit for human consumption. Therefore, gravity-fed schemes using surface water from a reservoir is the only technical option. This means in practice also that often multi-village schemes need to be developed, using a single dam. These are either Single-Village Schemes (maintained by Gram Panchayat or Zilla Parishad) or Multi-Village Schemes (maintained by Zilla Parishad or by MJP themselves. Around 65,000 Schemes have been created under MJP. More than half of these schemes are maintained by MJP. This '156 villages and two towns scheme' is entirely maintained by MJP. About 258 households on an average per village are served via this scheme.

The central government approves the budget for the water projects in general and disburses funds for the same. Usually, the central government's share is 50% of the project cost. The state government puts in another 50% to meet the total project cost. The gross cost of the scheme is INR 163.31 crores. Gross cost with escalation was INR 181.16 crores. INR 78 crores was loaned by HUDCO. It is the responsibility of MJP to prepare action plans and identify the budgetary requirements.

MJP is also responsible for monitoring the service levels as well as the water quality.

Day to day operation is the sole responsibility of MJP. Time-keepers and Valve-men at villages are contracted by MJP fo rin O&M. With respective to capital maintenance and asset renewal, the responsibility again lies with MJP. The tariff is also collected by the Bill collectors who are employed by MJP. The whole auditing process and performance assessment also is taken care by MJP.

Even though Village Water and Sanitation Committees (VWSCs) are formed in the villages during the implementation stage, their role is very limited. It is interesting to note how the VWSCs play the role of 'Watch Dog' and puts any eye on MJP's performance. The VWSCs also check for misuse of metered
connections at household levels. In some villages, where tariff collection is a painful task, VWSCs step in and help MJP in tariff collection form problematic households. Efficient complaint redressal is in system due to extra effort put in by the VWSCs. In the whole process, an individual's responsibility is to pay tariff on monthly basis.

Though this mechanism is essentially one of direct public service provision with minimal community involvement, service levels are high, in terms of the quantity, quality and continuity of supply. However, in the control village in the tail-end, the service levels are very minimal. There seems to be equity within villages, but not across the villages, as witnessed by the problems in the tail-end village.

This is an indication that even in a more 'professionalized' service delivery approach, likely to be the future pattern as economic development continues at pace, there remains a role for real community involvement in rural water supply to ensure sustainable services to all, particularly those disadvantaged in any way, in this case at the tail-end of the design. There remains a need to hold service providers to account, whether through local government and political intervention or through some better empowered village water committee process.

On an average, INR 229/person is estimated as the total annual recurrent cost with an average expenditure of INR 127/person is incurred for materials and supplies. All the financial transactions are within the purview of MJP. Approximately 50% of these recurrent costs are met in form of tariff collected from the households.

Citation Key81974



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