Urban Reforms



India is a part of the global trend towards increasing urbanisation in which more than half of world's population is living in cities and towns. 27.8 per cent of India's population (285 million) live in urban areas as per 2001 census.

It is important to note that the contribution of urban sector to GDP is currently expected to be in the range of 50-60 percent. In this context, enhancing the productivity of urban areas is now central to the policy pronouncements of the Ministry of Urban Development. Cities hold tremendous potential as engines of economic and social development, creating jobs and generating wealth through economies of scale. They need to be sustained and augmented through the high urban productivity for country's economic growth. National economic growth and poverty reduction efforts will be increasingly determined by the productivity of these cities and towns. For Indian cities to become growth oriented and productive, it is essential to achieve a world class urban system. This in turn depends on attaining efficiency and equity in the delivery and financing of urban infrastructure

Resource Gap

The India Infrastructure, Report, 1996, assessed the total annual investment needs of water supply, sanitation and roads sectors at Rs. 28,036 crores per year on an average during 1996-2006. Whereas funds to that extent are not available.

To overcome these constraints and challenges, the Ministry of Urban Development has initiated institutional, fiscal and financial reforms. First generation urban sector reform - known as the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1992, recognises the principles of local self governments and empowers urban local bodies with financial resources through Central Finance Commission and State Finance Commissions. Subsequently, in order to strengthen these local bodies, second generation reform have also been started. In the last decade, enormous progress has been made in removing impediments to efficient investment.

Resource Mobilisation Effort

In August, 1996, the Central Government guidelines entitled 'Urban Development Plans Formulation and Implementation' were circulated to all State Governments for adoption. These guidelines, apart from other issues, suggest innovative approaches for fiscal resource mobilisation. In the backdrop of the New Economic Policy, it was suggested that the traditional system of funding based on Plan and budgetary allocations be reduced and ultimately withdrawn due to fiscal deficit. Subsidies need to be rationalised and urban development plans and projects need to be placed on a commercial format by designing commercially viable urban infrastructure services and area development projects. This can be achieved by restoring a proper match between functions and source of revenue by giving additional tax measures. Other innovative resource mobilisation measures include using land as resource, increase in the non-property taxes and using Public-Private Partnership in service delivery.

Second Generation Reforms

Regulatory Framework

The participation of the private sector in financing and the delivery of infrastructure at the municipal level, especially in the water and sanitation sector, requires a regulatory framework to protect consumers, apply environmental standards and support the delivery to the poor. As there are a variety of models of regulation from centralised to decentralised systems, guidelines will be developed at the National level to ensure consistency across the country. Appropriate training programme and capacity support to regulators will also be developed in partnership with the private sector and urban research institutions.

Model Legislation

The Central Government is in the process of preparing a model legislation for facilitating private sector participation in urban infrastructure. This is necessary as the present legislative scenario does not encourage private sector participation in this field. A model Municipal Act which will be recommended to the State Governments, would include modification and simplification of Municipal bylaws, provision for enhanced borrowing, allowing the entry of private sector and authorising concenssionaires to penalise users for non payment of tariffs.

Municipal Accounting System

The Task Force constituted by the O/o C&AG of India had recommended for introduction of accrual basis of accounting system for the urban local bodies (ULBs) and suggested model budgeting and accounting formats for that purpose. The Task Force Report was circulated to all States/UTs for adoption of accrual basis of accounting system as well as the budget and accounting formats. Further to provide a simplified tool kit to the ULBs for recording the accounting entries, Ministry of Urban Development in cooperation with the Office of C&AG of India has prepared a National Municipal Accounting Manual (NMAM) and circulated to all States/UTs in January, 2005. The Manual comprehensively details the accounting policies, procedures, guidelines designed to ensure correct, complete and timely recording of municipal transactions and produce accurate and relevant financial reports. The NMAM would help the States prepare their state-level accounting manuals in accordance with their own requirements for use by the ULBs. This initiative is expected not only to enhance the capacities of ULBs in municipal accounting leading to increased transparency and accountability of utilization of public funds for the development of urban sector but also will help in creating an environment in which urban local bodies can play their role more effectively and ensure better service - delivery.

Public-Private Participation Guidelines

Central Government will develop guidelines for involvement of the private sector in infrastructure, which will ensure competitive biding process in a transparent manner. These guidelines will not only protect the consumers but also ensure integrity of the process. This would support municipalities in designing the PPP process on the lines of the BOT Centre in
Philippines or the PPP in the Ministry of Finance in South Africa.  Fiscal Incentives

Foreign Direct Investment(FDI)

Hitherto Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) allowed direct investment in providing urban services on a case to case basis. This scenario has changed with the decision of the Central Government removing restrictions on FDI in urban infrastructure facilities which are now open both under FIPB and the automatic route as per sector specific guidelines. Guidelines have since even issued for FDI in development of integrated township including housing and building material.

External Assistance

Since independence, externally assisted urban sector projects have accounted for US$ 2300 million. A review of these projects indicated a need to adopt a programme approach rather than a project approach for availing external assistance. It also indicated the need to encourage a multiple donor scenario and tapping low cost funds for urban infrastructure.

Tax Free Municipal Bonds

Municipal Bonds were successfully issued by several Municipal Corporations like, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Ludhiana, Nagpur, Nasik, Madurai for raising resources for urban infrastructure. The Central Government had announced tax exemption in case of bonds issued by Municipal / Local Governments. Guidelines were issued by this Ministry on 8.2.2001 for regulating issue of tax free municipal bonds. Under the guidelines, such bonds will be issued for raising resources for capital investment in creation of new infrastructure as well as augmentation of existing systems. Tax free bonds worth Rs. 100 crore by Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation have been permitted for improving infrastructure. Hyderabad Municipal Corporation has also been permitted to issue tax free municipal bond for Rs. 82.50 crore.

Pooled Financing for Municipal Infrastructure

Traditionally, municipal corporations and urban local bodies have relied on subsidised funds for providing urban services which constraints the constraints the introduction of user charges and efficient project operation and maintenance. In view of the huge resource gap, direct access to capital market would now be an accepted viable option. However, access to capital market requires financial discipline and enhanced credit rating. It has been the experience that only bigger municipal corporations are in a position to take the advantage of the resources available in capital market. Medium and smaller municipalities are unable to do so due to weak financial position and lack of capacity to prepare viable project proposals. A State level pooled financing mechanism is being proposed for smaller and medium municipalities. The objective of a State level pooled finance mechanism is to provide a cost effective and efficient approach for smaller and medium sized ULBs to access the domestic capital markets for Urban infrastructure and to introduce new institutional arrangements for mobilising Urban Infrastructure Finance.

City Restructuring

Government of India is also encouraging citywide reforms and restructuring so as to ensure that cities are managed efficiently and become creditworthy (to attract private finance ) which will enable them to prepare long term plans for infrastructure investments and implement poverty alleviation programs.

Citywide reforms and restructuring will, however, result in significant transaction costs during the period of transition. Leaving cities to finance these costs by themselves will delay and make it difficult to implement these reforms. It is to partly offset this disadvantage that the Ministry of Urban Development is proposing to set up a performance based City Challenge Fund for catalyzing city level economic reform programmes. The resources from the Fund would be given as grants but should ideally be matched by equal allocations either from the cities themselves or from the respective State governments. Access to the fund would be on a competitive basis.

Establishment of an
Urban Academy

The proposed
Urban Academy is visualized as a centre of excellence in Urban Matters such as urban water supply, sanitation, urban transport, urban governance, municipal finance, etc. It will be a n ideal town-planning habitat, wherein experts from India and abroad can experiment with new layouts, building materials, landscaping, heritage preservation etc., and it will have Synergic links with all other institutions specializing in urban matters. This will coordinate all Training and Capacity Building Initiatives and efforts of Change Management Forums.


In conclusion, it is evident that the New Economic Policy launched in
India in 1991-92, did see several important initiatives in the urban sector designed to encourage private sector participation in urban infrastructure projects. These initiatives, would need to be taken to their logical conclusion. A series of new Reform Measures are being put together for implementation during 10th Plan Period. Through these, we hope to reverse the declining standards of urban infrastructure in the country.

Waste management and disposal is a growing environmental concern in the urban areas. Proper disposal of the urban wastes is not only essential for reducing its adverse human health and environmental impacts, but also presents a large potential for resource recovery. 

This book is the result of comparative research work on solid waste management (SWM) projects undertaken in seven cities in India . The chapters focus on solid waste management practices, bottlenecks and interesting innovations in the case study cities.

The introductory chapter brings together urban governance, role of decentralization and SWM framework in India . The second chapter offers a detailed overview of solid waste management practices, various actors involved, institutional arrangements and financing system. The following chapters present case studies of SWM practices in the cities of Bangalore , Hyderabad , Kolkata, Mumbai, Ranchi , Suryapet and Vegalpur. The rationale behind selecting these cities is that they put forth appealing innovation at some level of practice. Every case study examines in detail the scale of the project, new efforts and initiatives in SWM, environmental impacts, concerns and sustainability issues, and potential for up-scaling.                                                

The book offers lot of detailed, systematic information with regard to managing solid waste.It is a useful read for urban planners, municipal officials, city managers, and researchers.  

Future Forms and Design for Sustainable Cities presents several new and interesting research about urban design and forms and how they can be made more sustainable in the future. Providing an accessible presentation of the research in sustainable urban planning and design, this book illustrates the sustainable plans and schemes to show how they stand up against the latest research.

The book provides a dense collection of papers, divided in three sections, the first provides the big picture discussing the different spatial urban concepts, the second offers examples of design in high and low density context. The last section considers various other aspects like changing work patterns, renewable energy use, solar energy, and high-rise buildings that have impact on the sustainability of the urban form. After concentrating on the planning and design of cities, the conclusion, compares the research to large-scale design examples that have been proposed and/or implemented over the past decade to give a vision for the future that might be achievable.  

It offers architects, urban designers, landscape architects, planners and urban geographers a view of how urban forms can become more sustainable, energy efficient and greener.

What is a slum?

Slums are neglected parts of cities where housing and living conditions are appallingly lacking. Slums range from high density, squalid central city tenements to spontaneous squatter settlements without legal recognition or rights, sprawling at the edge of cities. Some are more than fifty years old, some are land invasions just underway. Slums may be called by various names, Favelas, Kampungs, Tugurios, yet share the same miserable living conditions.

Slums do not have:

• basic municipal services - water, sanitation, waste collection, storm drainage, street lighting, paved footpaths, roads for emergency access.
• schools and clinics within reach, safe areas for children to play.
• places for the community to meet and socialize.
Slums are worsening:
• as the average age of people in cities is increasing, the average age of slum dwellers is decreasing, so the youth suffer most from unhealthful conditions.
• visible disparities between slums and better-off neighborhoods increase the social tensions in poorer areas.
• unplanned growth of settlements makes conventional service provision complicated.

What is upgrading?

Upgrading - or slum improvement as it is also called - in low income urban communities is many things, but at its simplest it has come to mean a package of basic services: clean water supply and adequate sewage disposal to improve the well-being of the community. But fundamental is legalizing and ‘regularizing’ the properties in situations of insecure or unclear tenure. Upgrading customarily provides a package of improvements in streets, footpaths and drainage as well. Solid waste collection is frequently included with its positive impact on health, along with street lights for security and night activity. Electricity to homes is often initiated later - and sometimes even before! - by private companies.

But this physical improvement is only the beginning: health issues need to be addressed by providing clinics and health education programs, school facilities and teacher training are needed to attack the lack of basic education, and lastly programs are offered to increase income earning opportunities and the general economic health of a community. Upgrading is the start to becoming a recognized citizen.

What is needed to make upgrading work?

The most important element for success is commitment by all: the city, the community, and the families. A sense of partnership must be developed among them. And secondly upgrading must meet a real need - people must want it and understand the value. To implement, you must get the institutional arrangements right: give incentives for agencies to work with the poor, keep everyone informed and coordinate between stakeholders, and define clearly the roles of the various agencies. And to keep upgrading going, sustainability concerns must be a priority in financing, institutions, and regulations.

What is the demand for Slum Upgrading?

Well over 300 million urban poor in the developing world have few options but to live in squalid, unsafe environments where they face multiple threats to their health and security - over 200 million in Asia, over 50 million in LAC, and over 60 million in the unserved areas of Africa's cities which are now growing at a rate unprecedented in human history. Slums lack the most basic infrastructure and services, causing occupants to be exposed to disease and vulnerable to natural disasters.

Slum and squatter settlements are growing at alarming rates. They are the products of failed policies, bad governance, corruption, inappropriate regulation, dysfunctional land markets, unresponsive financial systems, and a fundamental lack of political will. Each of these failures adds to the toll on people already deeply burdened by poverty and constrains the enormous potential for human development that urban life offers.

 What are the benefits of upgrading?

The benefits are simply that people obtain an improved, healthy and secure living environment without being displaced. The investments they have already made to their properties remain and are enhanced - this is significantly better than removing them to costlier alternatives that are less acceptable to them. Recognizing title and security of tenure makes a positive contribution to both the economic prospects of the poor, as well as to the national economy. Experience has shown that slum upgrading projects are associated with social and economic benefits that are particularly high. For example in a recently upgraded area of El Mezquital, Guatemala, infant mortality rates fell by 90 percent and crime by 43 percent. Regularization of land tenure results in significant private investment in these communities - US$7 private investment for $1 of public funds.

ome of the most basic needs of a community include the provision of housing and urban services to its residents. Providing equitable access to water, sanitation, trash collection, solid waste disposal, and electricity across all areas of a city – wealthy and poor – are the cornerstone of a municipal government's compact with its citizens, and is the most tangible result for which communities hold their elected officials accountable. This is particularly true as more countries decentralize administrative and fiscal authority to city and local governments, and the responsibility of closing the gap in service provision between the poor and the wealthy falls to cities. This gap remains substantial, and continues to grow in parts of the world, as over 1.1 billion people lack adequate access to safe water, nearly 2.5 billion lack access to sanitation services, and more than one billion people currently live in slums.

In addition to creating more livable and healthy cities, urban services are also critical to economic growth. Cities are referred to as engines of growth, but without adequate infrastructure and services, the gears of commerce become obstructed and ineffectual. Conversely, cities with effective urban services become magnets for private sector activity, as companies can trade goods and services efficiently, leading to formal sector jobs and additional growth.

Perhaps the most basic of services is the provision of housing. Adequate housing is considered so important that 75% of countries in the world have enshrined this right constitutionally or through enacting legislation. Adequate housing is also critical to the social, economic, and political stability of a country; a viable housing sector can generate employment opportunities, improve public health, deepen the financial sector, provide a sense of ownership to the populace, and help develop complex institutions that provide benefits across many sectors of society. Housing is also typically the greatest source of wealth creation available to the poor.
Through investing in their individual homes, the poor accumulate equity which can then be used as collateral to start or expand a small business.

Despite its size, the public sector by itself does not have the resources needed to bridge the gap in basic service provision to areas that are currently unserved or underserved. City governments will need to reach out to the private sector and to citizens, particularly the poor, to explore how public-private partnerships might improve service delivery. Without engaging stakeholders regarding their needs and ability to pay, municipalities will be unable to provide even the most basic
services in a sustainable manner. Although cost recovery is fundamental to sustainable and responsive basic service provision, participatory management, cooperation, transparency, and accountability are also critical. Service provision is critically important to the health of a city and its inhabitants, likewise the processes whereby these services are provided, and the infrastructure built and maintained are also significant in building an inclusive, prosperous society.


            Urban Orissa accounts for 13.4% of the State’s population (provisional estimates – Census 2001). Lack of rapid industrialization and slow pace of growth in the service and commercial sectors account for poor rate of urbanization in the State. This also explains the limited number of big towns and cities as shown in Table-I mentioned below:


Classification of Town

No. of Towns



Proportion of Urban Population in percentage





























Source: Census of India 1991; SUDA 1994

            Of these 124 urban centres there are 2 Municipal Corporations, 31 Municipalities and 69 Notified Area Committees (NAC) currently. These are collectively referred to as Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) and are guided by the Municipal Act, 1950, which has been amended from time to time to meet the changing needs.

Currently, the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) undertake the following activities:

v     Construction and maintenance of public toilets and urinals, roads, markets, bridges, tanks, parks, playgrounds.

v     Conservancy services including drain cleaning and maintenance and waste collection and disposal.

v     Establishment and management of schools, hospitals, dispensaries, libraries.

v     Street lighting and fire protection services.

v     Registration of births and deaths.

v     Licensing of trades and establishments.

v     Implementation of urban poverty alleviation programmes.

           However, most of the ULBs are finding it extremely difficult to set satisfactory standards in urban management due to resource constraints and various other types of bottlenecks.

            This has its expected impact on the health of city residents. Major neglect area for all the municipalities across the country had been managing the solid waste generated in the cities and towns. Solid waste is not only a nuisance in itself but also poses major problem for effective draining of flood waters. Ms. Almitra Patel a leading activist had filed a PIL in the Supreme Court and in response Honourable Supreme Court of India had set up a committee to recommend measures needed to be taken up by ULBs. The committee submitted its report to the Honourable Supreme Court and on the basis of recommendations of the committee, directed all ULBs to ensure compliance within a stipulated timeframe. Urban Local Bodies in Orissa, which are constantly struggling to even pay the staff, are in no position to take up this mammoth task unless adequate support is mobilized from different quarters.

A profile of the Urban Poverty and Services in Orissa

            In the later 1990s about 350,000 households (about 2.1 million persons) comprising 42 percent of the urban population (significantly higher than the corresponding all India figure of about 30 percent), were reported to be living below the poverty line (GoO, 2000). The urban poor accounted for about 10 percent of the poor in the state. More than 2,400 slums, with a population of about 1.2 million, were listed in urban Orissa.

            In 1991, urban Orissa reported a very high proportion of kutcha houses (about a fourth) compared to the national average of less than 10 percent. The population of households reporting pucca houses of urban Orissa is 57% which is significantly lower than the national average of 75%.

            In 1991, about 60 percent of urban households in Orissa reported access of safe drinking water and electricity and only about half reported toilet facilities. The corresponding all India figures were significantly higher. Only about a third of the urban households in Orissa reported access to both safe drinking water and toilet facilities.

            Adequate facilities for wastewater disposal do not exist in the majority of the ULBs and wastewater is discharged into streams, creeks and rivers. Minimal sewerage exists in parts of seven towns and most household arrangements are on site soak-pits and septic tanks. Investments in sanitation arrangements are largely undertaken by the households and the Low Cost Sanitation (LCS) programme extends only to select urban areas.

            There is no established and effective operational system for SWM services either.  In the absence of any organized system of primary collection of waste, street sweeping is the only method left for primary collection. Despite this, it is observed that all roads and streets are not being swept on daily basis. In practice, certain important roads and markets are swept daily, some are swept on alternate days or twice a week, some are swept occasionally or not at all. The road length to be swept by a sweeper is not standardized. For example at some places, sweepers are allotted work as per road-length, which varies from 100 meters to 1 Km. The sweepers population ratio is one per 250 to 1000 population. Rough estimates indicate that only 50 percent of the urban population is covered by provision for solid waste disposal but service levels are not upto the mark.

            Most towns suffer from drainage problems and construction and maintenance of drains poses a major problem in many urban pockets. Hence, constant water logging and flooding are chronic problems in many areas especially during the rainy season.

            Other infrastructure, including roads, street lighting, etc. are reported to be far from satisfactory and suffer from lack of capital resources and inefficient management.

Pilot Project on SWM in Cuttack City

            The Cuttack Urban Services Improvement Project, currently being implemented in the city with DFID assistance basically focuses on slum development activities. It has a liberal provision for city wide Solid Waste Management due to its concerns for environmental sanitation. The project has provided a diverse range of valuable inputs based on the recommendations of experts to the corporation with a view to supplement CkMC’s efforts for development and implementation of an effective SWM strategy in the city. The decentralized segregated house to house collection in 13 Municipal wards and setting up of compost plants by CUSIP deserve special mention.


 Process of Composting

         The composting is done through a simple process requiring less manpower. Compost pits of 9’ long x 3’ wide x 3’ deep have been built with a free space of 6” height at the bottom. The space at the bottom of the pit is utilised for laying air hose and also for collection of leachette. One end of the air hose is fitted in the pit while the other end remains exposed out side so that air blower can be attached to it.

            Once the organic waste reaches the site, plastic coated mesh is laid at the bottom of the pit over air hose. Waste is laid in 3 layers. Cow dung slurry is spread on each layer to facilitate bacteria formation and early decomposition. Filled pit is covered with a screen to avoid fly nuisance. The pit is left untampered until temperature rises to about 60-65oC. Once the temperature reaches this stage, air is blown through air hose using air blower. Air is blown for about 10 minutes every day. The leachette is collected in to a common tank through a drainage system. At the end of 28-30 days when the compost is matured, pit is emptied and the compost is sieved. The compost is packed in bags for disposal.

Financial Viability

            1 MT capacity plant has been built with a cost of Rs. 500,000.00. It has been observed that the composting process takes only about 30 days for a full cycle and the trend is steady over the year. Even with conservative selling price of Rs. 3.00  per Kg, the plant can fetch Rs. 1000 per day and Rs. 365,000.00 per year. This will the sufficient to take care of O&M liabilities and other capital costs to a significant extent.

            Cuttack Municipal Corporation plans to build more such plants, which not only are the source of revenue generation for financially starved ULBs but would also reduce the burden on transportation of waste to a common place through decentralised disposal of waste.

            It can be concluded that if all the 116 tonnes of organic waste generated from Cuttack is composted at decentralised plants, the burden on transportation will be reduced.  In case of Cuttack this would mean a saving of 20 truckload trips for 20 Km each day.

            The following other lessons have been learnt during implementation of CUSIP may be replicated in other urban areas of the State : -

q       CkMC is responsive to various innovative and technological inputs on Solid Waste Management.

q       The stakeholders such as CBOs, NGOs, Resident Welfare Associations, Merchants and traders Associations and various community groups are willing to participate and cooperate in the activities for Solid Waste Management.

q       Consultancy support and specific recommendations of subject experts have proved to be of great relevance for tackling SWM related problems in Cuttack city.

q       Workshops, training programmes and exposure visits have widened the vision and capacities of key personnel as well as elected representatives from Municipal Council.

q       Community development and social mobilization strategies pay rich dividends in grounding as well as O&M of SWM services.

q       Decentralized, segregated house to house collection of waste has met with reasonable success due to concerted efforts made by CkMC, CUSIP, members of community and other stakeholders of the programme.

q       Introduction of social audit through community supervision of performance of the sweepers/drain cleaners beat wise go a long way in maintaining an effective monitoring and accountability system.


q       The options for extending SWM services in certain areas such as Hospitals, Nursing Homes, Market places, Hotels etc. on full/part cost recovery basis, may be tried, as there exists vast untapped potential for these measures.

The details on progress of SWM activities in Cuttack is enclosed in Annexure-II

Replication of lessons learnt in CUSIP

            The initiatives undertaken in Cuttack City on Solid Waste Management have already shown visible out puts. Though a comprehensive impact assessment has not been made so far, the opinion surveys and physical inspection conducted by CUSIP at a limited scale, provide reasonable ground to claim marked improvement in the field of solid waste management compared to the pre intervention baseline situation.

            Sustained IEC and Capacity Building inputs have facilitated community participation in various SWM programmes. This is reflected in the form of increased community advocacy for basic civic amenities. Neighbourhood groups, Mahila Samitis, Yuvak Sanghs and various community based organizations have been sensitized about ideal SWM practices as a result of which they have started taking keen interest for the successful implementation of the programme.

            The trend is further confirmed by the increase in number of Public Interest Litigations (PIL) coming up in the Honourable High Court with appeals for judicial interventions to ensure standard Municipal services in the city.

            The H&UD Department has taken a positive note of these developments and is currently contemplating to notify a citizen’s charter on their basic rights and responsibilities.  This will promote provider – user interface and cooperation in critical areas like solid waste management.

            It may be noted that there are no final and standard solutions for SWM. This is being done on do and learn basis in most of the towns and cities of the country. Hence, the State Government is consulting experts in the field as well as collecting relevant information from other states with a view to develop a need based and location specific strategy. It seeks to promote an integrated approach in Solid Waste Management to deal with all kinds of wastes including the toxic and hazardous ones.

            The State Government is aware of the enabling measures required to strengthen Municipal functioning. These include provisions for a State level legal framework to deal with issues like debris management, imposition of user charges and penal action for breach of Municipal Act and Regulations.

            In nutshell, it may be stated that the progress made in the field of solid waste management in Cuttack city is ground for replication of similar activities in other parts of the State.

GoO’s Current Strategy on Urban Development

            Government of Orissa is aware of the basic urban development issues. Of late, it has taken keen interest to develop a holistic and integrated strategy for sustainable urban management. The long-standing problems such as lack of fiscal discipline, over staffing, poor managerial focus on basic municipal services and urban poverty issues are being sorted out in a phased manner. Strategic interventions for institutional restructuring and municipal reforms are on the anvil. There is also a growing realization on the need for transparent and participatory management of urban affairs through active involvement of the community as well as public and other civil society institutions.

            Despite these positive developments, it may be noted that the state, at present, is facing a severe resource crunch for which it would be very difficult to get necessary budgetary support for the urban sector plans in near future. Moreover, the dependency syndrome of ULBs on state grants can not be abolished overnight. Hence, during this period of painful transition, there is an urgent need for donor support for certain key initiatives being undertaken by the State Government.

                It is pertinent to mention here that DFID, a major global donor, has been taking a keen interest for the development of Orissa. As a part of its major concern, that is reduction of poverty all over the world by 50 percent, by 2015, it has been rendering all kinds of assistance for improvement of health and infrastructure facilities in rural and urban areas of the state.  Cuttack Urban Services Improvement project (CUSIP), is a standing testimony of its concerns for the urban poor and the vulnerable groups. This project proposal is being submitted to DFID with the hope that it would extend generous assistance for a cause which principally aims at strengthening Municipalities and improving the quality of life of the urban poor and slum dwellers in the State.

Title of the Project:            “Improving Quality of Life of the poor through Improved Solid Waste Management practices and Basic Municipal services in Urban Areas of Orissa”

Location:                              State of Orissa

Units of Intervention:        102 Urban Local Bodies

Duration:                              2 Years (For SWM initiative)

            The State Government strongly feels that the urban areas need immediate attention in terms of provision of solid waste management services and improvement in human excreta and waste water disposal facilities with special focus on slums so that quality of life in the urban areas could be improved and made livable.

            The State Government proposes to concentrate on the following two sectors of infrastructure development in areas under 102 Urban Local Bodies in the State.

1.      Provision of improved solid waste management services with active participation of NGOs, CBOs and community.

2.      Provision of surface drains, soak walls, toilets etc. in the slums to improve sanitation.

            The urban areas do not have the system of primary collection of waste from the source of waste generation. The waste is therefore discharged/thrown on the streets/open spaces/water bodies etc. as and when the waste so discharged on the streets is later collected by the street sweepers in varying degrees. The waste that remains uncollected in the streets decomposes on the site creating problems of health. The worst affected are the slum dwellers and the urban poors who hardly get any service from the local bodies. The waste collected by the sweepers is taken to the waste storage depot, popularly known as dustbins, where the waste is deposited in open spaces or in unscientifically designed/constructed dustbins is transported in open tractors/trucks to the open dump yards where, the waste is disposed off most unscientifically. The waste is neither spread nor convered. This results in environmental degradation and contamination of land and sub-soil water resources.

            The entire system of waste management therefore needs to be redesigned scientifically in terms of the recommendation of the Supreme Court Committee and Municipal solid waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000.

            In regard to the provision of basic sanitation facilities in the slums, it is considered essential to prevent open defecation with the provision of adequate number of toilets and soak pits. Surface drains and soak walls constructed and maintained in good condition is necessary to ensure waste water disposal. The interventions will promote community health and environmental sanitation which will prevent diseases as well as spread of epidemics benefiting mostly the poor slum dwellers and vulnerable groups.


The State Government therefore, proposes to take the support of DFID to fulfil the following objectives:

v     Undertake a comprehensive study of 102 urban local bodies in the State and ascertain the status of solid waste management services with special focus on slums and urban poor. The study will also identify the deficiencies in services and suggest immediate remedial measures to improve the level of services.

v     Assess the needs of slum dwellers for sanitary infrastructure such as toilets, drains etc. and take necessary steps in order to meet the requirements.

v     Undertake a comprehensive awareness campaign through different media and launch IEC activities to promote community participation in developmental programmes.

v     Provide capacity building in puts to CBOs, NGOs and staff of ULBs in tackling the problems effectively.

v     Facilitate primary collection of waste from the door step with community participation.

v     Make provision for essential manpower, equipment and supplies for effective Solid Waste Management.

v     Improvise the standard of basic municipal services ensuring their access by the slum dwellers and other vulnerable groups.

v     Improve the environment and habitat conditions in the urban areas of the State.

Action Plan

            The State Government proposes to implement the recommendations of the Supreme Court Committee on solid waste management and the provisions of the Rules recently framed by the Government of India, Ministry of Environment in September 2000. The law, for the first time, has made it mandatory for the local bodies to provide SWM services in the slums and has laid down the manner in which the solid waste management services shall be provided in urban areas. The State Government therefore, proposes to implement these directions through a well structured action plan as under:-

1.      To avail of the expert services of Mr. P.U.Asnani who is the member of the Supreme Court Committee on solid waste management and the member of the Technology Advisory Group on solid waste management constituted by the Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India and the Chairman of the core group of Appropriate Technologies and Research and Development in Solid Waste Management for India. He has a long experience of municipal management and expertise in these sectors. His technical assistance will be available to the State in the designing and implementation of the solid waste management projects for each city/town.

2.      Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT) and Institute of Solid Waste Management, Ahmedabad shall be requested to take up the work of detailed study on Solid Waste Management with special focus on slums for all the 102 towns of the State. They will identify the deficiencies and design a system of waste management in consultation with Mr. Asnani for all the cities of the state. The CEPT, Ahmadabad, wherever necessary will hire the services of National Experts on Solid Waste Management in designing the Solid Waste Management System for the Urban Local Bodies.

3.      The IEC material shall be developed in local language for community awareness and capacity building of various stakeholders including the staff of Urban Local Bodies.

4.      Identify and encourage CBOs and NGOs within the State to take up the responsibilities of community development and community participation in improving solid waste management. Prescribe the yardstick for the sanitation workers and drivers and operators of Solid Waste Management vehicles to improve their productivity.

5.      Procure the necessary tools and equipment as well as vehicles that may be required for improving Solid Waste Management practices in the urban areas as well as slums.

6.      Develop a well-defined need based training programme for various levels of Municipal Officers and staff as well as NGOs and CBOs for their capacity building to promote sustainability of the Solid Waste Management project.

7.      Organize workshops and refresher training programmes from time to time to update the knowledge and skills of the staff engaged in Solid Waste Management services.

8.      Assess the need of community and individual toilets, soak pits and surface drains in the slums for the scientific disposal of wastewater and human excreta.

9.      Estimate the requirements of funds for various services and devise an implementation strategy in a phased manner.

10. Install a structured evaluation system on the basis of feedback received from community and other stakeholders.