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Centre for water and sanitation


The Rural Water Supply sector including sanitation has now entered the fourth generational phase (since 2007-08) with major emphasis on ensuring sustainability of services, affordability and equity by adopting decentralized approach involving PRIs and community organizations. The new guidelines of government of India sought to remove this handicap by formulating a coordinating mechanism through convergence of related programmes at the field level like National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) and others. From an institutional perspective, the modified policy recommends supporting the transfer of management and financial responsibility to the lowest level, i.e. the Panchayati Raj Institutions and, in particular, Village Water Supply and Sanitation Committee formed under the Gram Panchayat. The transfer of responsibility would require provision of management and financial autonomy to the PRIs, VWSC, community organizations, as adequate and appropriate for their roles. This would enable the community to obtain a higher quality of services and minimize capital and maintenance cost, through competitive selection of service providers among existing public and private agencies and other organizations. Therefore the new approach gives high priority to Communication and capacity development of actors at different levels.

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