In a bid to rejuveniate urban civic amenities, a Planning Commission committee has recommended role of private sector in delivery public services such as water supply and sewage management to people.
Most Indian cities have inadequate water suppluy because of huge leakages and poor distrbution system and only 30-40 % of the sewage gets treated. Only half of the garbage gets properly disposed.Just 20 % roads in cities have storm water drains resulting in water logging and most cities lack proper water drainage system.
To address the issues, which would aggravate with half of Indians expected to be in cities by 2030, the panel has suggested People Public Private Partnership (PPPP)mode, where people should have a crucial role in design of projects and its implementation.
"The role of the people in design of projects is crucial and therefore, best practices and models for PPPPs must be evolved and deployed for India's urban management agenda to succeed," said planning commission's steering committee on urban management for the 12th five year plan, which started in this financial year.
The panel wants that everyone who get municipal water in cities should pay for it and in return the municipal bodies should assure a regular water supply. It also said that every household should be ensured proper sanitation facilities and government should create facilities for treatment of all sewage generated in the cities.
For all this, it has estimated that Rs 1,62,000 crore will be required in the next five years and asked the local bodies to seek help of the private sector to raise the funds. "This can be achieved through a National Mission on Sustainable Habitat," the panel's report said.
To ensure that the PPPP is people center, the panel has suggested setting up of an independent ombudsman (complaint redressal body) in each municipal corporation and also set up exclusive Lokayuktas to look into complaints of corruption in municipal bodies.
The committee has also asked municipal bodies to reform the property tax regime to restructure it as a "general benefit" tax and the government should also levy tax on vacant plots to prevent land hoarding.It also wants cities to have Metropolitan Development Authority to have a sustainable public transport system.
On the political level, it wants the Mayors to have five year term to ensure accountability and the ministry of Urban Development and Urban Housing and Poverty Alleviation merged for better management.
The recommendations of the committee are expected to be part of 12th five year plan to be considered by all Chief Ministers at a meeting in Delhi in September.