Consists of drinking water, sanitation, sewage systems, solid- waste management, electricity and gas distribution, urban transport, healthcare and environmental regulation as well as municipal services. Of the four this is the most commonly heard and discussed subject area. Housing is one of the most significant issues The biggest challenge with regard to urban infrastructure in India is the scale and speed at which this needs to be built to support the rapid urbanization that India is expected to see over the next 5-10 years with a large portion of rural India moving to urban areas adding to the slum population and to the number of urban poor. This population is also likely to be poorly skilled to take up urban jobs, as many of them would have been farm labour prior to coming to cities. The 74th Amendment gives more power, responsibilities, and the ability to raise funds, to control revenues and to deliver projects, to municipalities. However, our urban agglomerations are hardly prepared for the future onslaught with more population in urban areas.
The key areas of discussion are,
- Increasing investment in infrastructure in smaller cities and towns to divert some of the rush to big cities
- Finding innovative solutions in making PPP a reality in urban infrastructure
- Developing schemes and attractive propositions for entrepreneurs to enter relatively less attractive urban services like SWM, sanitation, etc. through the PPP model
- Developing a sense of ownership and belongingness amongst user groups of urban infrastructure to maximize life and quality of infrastructure