ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Reforms in Rural Drinking Water Supply


It is argued that while the government   should provide community drinking water supply systems as a matter of policy, the community should assume the responsibility for the maintenance of such assets. In course of time even the capital costs of expansion of the assets could be decided, managed and implemented by the community itself with limited state intervention. This is the best option for the sustainability of common assets.

The article “User Financing and Collective Action” published in Economic and Political Weekly of April 4, 1998 lends support to this argument. Expenditure on maintenance is increasing and this will consume a large chunk of the resources of the exchequer in the coming years, leaving less for new schemes. Hence user financing and maintenance become essential for the sustainability of the system. At the same time cross-subsidisation is necessary for protecting the interests of households below the poverty line.

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