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The availability of safe drinking water on a sustainable basis to communities throughout India has been a continuing focus of development programmes since the country's independence in 1947. India's water supply programme - comprising largely rural handpump projects - has sought to cover its approximately 600,000 villages and has made the provision of clean, safe drinking water a cornerstone of its rural development programme. This case study traces the deepwell handpump development in India from the late 1960s to the early 1990s and reviews the implementation approaches in research and development, standardization, capacity building, quality assurance and procurement which have contributed to the success of the RWS programme. It highlights the importance of proper technology selection, standardization and quality control. It shows how the Coimbtore Handpump Field Testing Project, a collaborative handpump R&D project of the Government of India, UNICEF and UNDP/World Bank, responded to the VLOM (Village Level Operation and Maintenance) challenges of the early 1980s through technology innovations including the development of an easier to maintain and repair handpump, the India Mark III. It also discusses the impact of new technology development on the maintenance structure, capital costs, maintenance costs, down time and community management of handpump maintenance. It describes the national rural water supply programme and the role of the Rajiv Ghandi National Drinking Water Mission, highlighting the importance of NGOs, the need for active community participation, and the enhancement of women's participation. It is believed that the information in this case study will help to explain how technological and systems improvements, the hardware - software divide, must be developed in combination if the resulting product is to meet user communities' needs and to encourage community responsibility for operation and maintenance.

TitleIndia handpump revolution : challenge and change
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsMudgal, A.K.
Secondary TitleWorking paper / HTN
VolumeWP 01/97
Paginationviii, 54 p. : tab., tech drwngs.
Date Published1997-09-01
Place PublishedSt. Gallen, Switzerland
Abstract

The availability of safe drinking water on a sustainable basis to communities throughout India has been a continuing focus of development programmes since the country's independence in 1947. India's water supply programme - comprising largely rural handpump projects - has sought to cover its approximately 600,000 villages and has made the provision of clean, safe drinking water a cornerstone of its rural development programme. This case study traces the deepwell handpump development in India from the late 1960s to the early 1990s and reviews the implementation approaches in research and development, standardization, capacity building, quality assurance and procurement which have contributed to the success of the RWS programme. It highlights the importance of proper technology selection, standardization and quality control. It shows how the Coimbtore Handpump Field Testing Project, a collaborative handpump R&D project of the Government of India, UNICEF and UNDP/World Bank, responded to the VLOM (Village Level Operation and Maintenance) challenges of the early 1980s through technology innovations including the development of an easier to maintain and repair handpump, the India Mark III. It also discusses the impact of new technology development on the maintenance structure, capital costs, maintenance costs, down time and community management of handpump maintenance. It describes the national rural water supply programme and the role of the Rajiv Ghandi National Drinking Water Mission, highlighting the importance of NGOs, the need for active community participation, and the enhancement of women's participation. It is believed that the information in this case study will help to explain how technological and systems improvements, the hardware - software divide, must be developed in combination if the resulting product is to meet user communities' needs and to encourage community responsibility for operation and maintenance.

Notes13 ref.
Custom 1822, 232.2

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