In a bid to upgrade urban civic amenities, a Planning Commission committee has recommended the entry of private sector in the delivery of public services, including water and sewage management.
Owing to leakages and poor distribution system, a majority of cities have poor water supply system. Only half of the garbage gets disposed of and 30-40 % of the sewage gets treated. Statistics also indicate that only 20% roads have storm water drains, the absence of which leads to water logging.
To address these issues, the panel has suggested People Public Private Partnership (PPPP) mode, where people would have a crucial role in design and implementation of projects.
"The role of people in such projects is crucial," said Planning Commission's steering committee on urban management. The panel wants everyone who gets municipal water in cities should pay for it. It also said every household should be promised proper sanitation facilities and government should treat all sewage generated in cities.
For this, Rs 1,62,000 crore will be required in the next five years. The panel has asked the local bodies to seek the help of private sector in raising funds. "This can be achieved through a National Mission on Sustainable Habitat," the panel's report said.
The panel has also suggested setting up of an independent ombudsman in each municipal corporation and exclusive lokayuktas to address complaints of corruption.
The committee wants municipal bodies to reform property tax regime. The government should also levy tax on vacant plots to prevent land hoarding.
The recommendations are expected to be part of 12th five-year-plan to be considered by chief ministers at a meeting in Delhi in September.