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This File was last Updated/Modified: April 04 2014 17:38:20.

Urban Development

Indian System of Medicine and Homoeopathy

  • Ninth Plan envisaged
  • Improvement in quality of primary, secondary and tertiary care in Indian System of Medicine and Homoeopathy (ISM and H).
  • Investment in human resource development in ISM and H.
  • Prevention and promotion of medicinal plants and herbs.
  • R and D with focus on new drug formulation clinical trials on promising drugs and improving ISM and H inputs in National Health Programme.
  • Efforts are being made to promote linkages of ISM and H Centres with the existing primary health care delivery system under modern system of medicine and Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) care programme for more effective utilization of their potential.
  • Quality of teaching, training and clinical care in ISM and H Institutes is being improved by strengthening of infrastructure, better teaching material and training of faculty members and skill upgradation of practitioners.
  • Increased emphasis is being laid on standardization of drugs used by ISM and H and their quality control through better testing and patenting facilities. Clinical research studies related to emerging problems is being promoted through the four research councils.
  • Planning Commission had constituted a Task Force on Medicinal Plants for Conservation, Cultivation, Sustainable use and Legal protection. The recommendations of the Task Force are being implemented.

Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation


Though, on an average, about 90% urban population in 1997 have access to Drinking Water Supply facility, the service level in most of the cities/towns are far below the desired norms and does not truly reflect the inter city, inter-State and regional disparities.

Similarly, though 49% urban population have access to sanitary excreta disposal facility, only 28% have sewerage system (partial without treatment facility in many cases) and 21% only low cost sanitary latrine facility. Only about 60% of the generated solid waste is collected and disposed off, of which only 50% sanitarily .

Key elements of strategy on improving urban water supply and sanitation would be

  • Democratic Decentralisation through municipalisation of responsibility for UWSS services;
  • Tariff structure should be consistent with Market finances ;
  • Private sector participation in water supply as a joint venture;
  • Transparent subsidisation by local authorities, where necessary .

In the case of Operation and Maintenance of Urban Water Supply, paucity of funds, non-availability of adequate trained manpower as also over centralisation are the areas of concern. Though revenue generation in a few cities like Hyderabad, Mumbai, Chennai etc. is more than 100% of the O and M cost, the same was much lower in other places (in March 1998) viz., Calcutta (14%), Nagpur (48%), Pune (49%), Ludhiana (40%), Lucknow (50%), Kanpur (78%) and Delhi (26%) .

India's average annual precipitation is nearly 4000 cubic kilo metre, a part of which goes towards increasing the ground water storage, a part is lost as evapotraspiration and the balance flows as surface water. The average volume flow in the river systems has been estimated to be 1880 However, due to much lower storage capacity, the quantum of water utilisable through surface source is about 690 only. Similarly, the quantum of ground water that can be extracted economically from the ground water aquifers every year has been estimated to be 450 Thus on an average, 1140 of water may be reckoned as available for exploitation. Compared to the quantity of utilisable water resources of 1140 the estimated demand in the year 2025 is of the order of 1050 Therefore, in absolute terms, there could be no shortage of water in the country. However, there are large variations in rainfall from region to region, season to season and year to year. The spatial and temporal variations in precipitation have led to complex situations such as the distinctly different monsoon and non-monsoons, the high and low rainfall areas and drought-flood-drought syndrome due to numerous factors. As the overall demand in 2025 would be close to the total water available, the National Water Policy of Government of India stresses the urgent need for conservation of water with the objective to foster efficient utilisation in all the diverse uses of water. The demand for community water supply in urban as well as rural areas in 1990 was about 25 which would increase to 33 in 2000 and to 52 in 2025 due to growth in population, as also due to improved life style of the people. The National Water Policy has accorded top priority to Drinking Water Supply in the allocation of water resources for various beneficial uses. It is, therefore, very necessary to make long-term planning of water resources management for a period of 30-40 years ahead by National and Provincial Governments by preparing Water Resources Management Master Plans and implementing the same effectively.

Due to fast growing urbanisation and industrialisation and diminishing water resources, it has become imperative to conserve available water and harvest rain water to the maximum extent possible by systematically taking various measures like leak detection and rectification works , rain water harvesting , controlling indiscriminate extraction of ground water and recharging of aquifers . By adopting these measures, Chennai could improve its ground water resources substantially.

Management of Urban Solid Waste is one of the most neglected areas of urban development in India. Lack of financial resources , inadequate manpower, fragmentation of administrative responsibility , non-involvement and lack of awareness of community are the major constraints. Poverty and low standards of living in the slum areas add to the adverse effects on environmental sanitation. Considering the complexity of the problem , it is necessary to evolve a suitable National strategy even though its implementation can best be handled at the level of Municipalities/Urban Local Bodies. For attracting and encouraging private capital in this area through mechanisms like BOT and BOOT, certain reforms are being contemplated and it is hoped that the State Governments would formulate this as a part of the urban reform agenda. Selection of technology for disposal of bio-degradable solid waste in a town would depend on various considerations like quality and quantity of waste, climatic condition and availability of land, but composting method using the successfully experimented wormi-culture technology would be the most suitable option for the country like India, if it is otherwise technically feasible. In order to encourage private sector participation , some initial subsidy and concessional rate of land could be considered by the State Governments/ULBs. Running cost should be self-financing and therefore, no such subsidy would be required for the same.


Although the Department of Drinking Water Supply, on the basis of reports made available by the State Governments, claim access of more than 95% population (as per 1991 census) to drinking water supply facilities , independent study reports show much lower coverage. The reason for lower coverage is mainly re-emergence of a large number of Problem Habitations (quantity or quality-wise) due to variety of natural and man-made reasons.

The water supply system rather than being supply-driven has to be demand-driven and also take into account users' preferences. The Government of India in March 1999 approved Sector Reforms to associate active participation of the community in RWS Programme with 10% capital cost sharing and 100% sharing of O and M cost. State Governments have identified 58 Pilot Project Districts to introduce reform.

Rain water harvesting not only supplements the domestic water supply but also acts as an anti-flood measure and recharges the aquifers. The three problems affecting the sustainability of drinking water supply viz., Scarcity, brakishness and excess fluoride could be simultaneously mitigated through direct or indirect artificial recharge of aquifers by utilising surplus run off.

The Model Bill for regulating the Ground Water Extraction framed by the GoI and circulated to the States should be adopted by the States and implemented seriously. Water User Groups should be formed on the lines of Participatory Forest Management Groups , who should do ground water monitoring and ensure that it is managed as common property resource .

Based on the findings of various field studies, the Centrally Sponsored Rural Sanitation programme has been restructured w.e.f. 1.4.1999. The restructured CRSP proposes to move away from supply-driven approach to demand-driven approach, which will inter alia include shift from high-subsidy to low-subsidy regime, greater house-hold involvement, technology options, stress on Information, Education and Communication (IEC), emphasis on School Sanitation etc.