Challenges. None of the 35 Indian cities with a population of more than one million distribute water for more than a few hours per day, despite generally sufficient infrastructure. Owing to inadequate pressure people struggle to collect water even when it is available. According to the World Bank, none have performance indicators that compare with average international standards.A 2007 study by the Asian Development Bank showed that in 20 cities the average duration of supply was only 4.3 hours per day. No city had continuous supply. The longest duration of supply was 12 hours per day in Chandigarh, and the lowest was 0.3 hours per day in Rajkot.In Delhi residents receive water only a few hours per day because of inadequate management of the distribution system. This results in contaminated water and forces households to complement a deficient public water service at prohibitive 'coping' costs; the poor suffer most from this situation. For example, according to a 1996 survey households in Delhi spent an average of 2,182 (US$48.4) per year in time and money to cope with poor service levels.This is more than three times as much as the 2001 water bill of about US$18 per year of a Delhi household that uses 20 cubic meters per month.
Achievements. Jamshedpur, a city in Jharkhand with 573,000 inhabitants, provided 25% of its residents with continuous water supply in 2009. Navi Mumbai, a planned city with more than
1m inhabitants, has achieved continuous supply for about half its population as of January 2009. Badlapur, another city in the Mumbai Conurbation with a population of 140,000, has achieved continuous supply in 3 out of 10 operating zones, covering 30% of its population. Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala state with a population of 745,000 in 2001, is probably the largest Indian city that enjoys continuous water supply.
Most Indians depend on on-site sanitation facilities. Recently, access to on-site sanitation have increased in both rural and urban areas. In rural areas, total sanitation has been successful (see below). In urban areas, a good practice is the Slum Sanitation Program in Mumbai that has provided access to sanitation for a quarter million slum dwellers. Sewerage, where available, is often in a bad state. In Delhi the sewerage network has lacked maintenance over the years and overflow of raw sewage in open drains is common, due to blockage, settlements and inadequate pumping capacities. The capacity of the 17 existing wastewater treatment plants in Delhi is adequate to cater a daily production of waste water of less than 50% of the drinking water produced. Of the 2.5 Billion people in the world that defecate openly, some 665 million live in India. This is of greater concern as 88% of deaths from diarrhea occur because of unsafe water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene.
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