Monday, June 27, 2011

Lottery of Kalyani Plots

Today the Cabinet met at 7pm. It approved the decision that lottery for Kalyani plots - 110 in number - will be held in July at Nazrul Mancha, Kolkata.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Nortification of Chairman and Vice-Chsirman of KMDA

Only today Bartamaan Patrika carried a story on who is going to be the new Chairman of KMDA. The link is as follows:

(You'll have to scroll down the web page so linked to get to the story).

And only today we published the notification stating that Hon'ble Chief Minister will be the Chairman of KMDA. (how untrue press reports turn out to be !). Yesterday, we published the notification that the Mayor of KMC would be the Vice Chairman of KMDA.

For issuing these notifications, I first came across the handwriting and signature of the CM on file. She'd used a green ink.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Brazil Study Tour on Water and Sanitation : Key Take-Aways

Just landed back from Brazil via Doha (in Qatar) at Delhi airport. Waiting for connecting flight of Air India at 1.20pm. Tried to prepone, but Indian Airlines says there are no seats (i believe they are plain non-co-operative).
So I have 3-4 hours to while awat at T3. I was wondering what I learnt during the week-long visit to Brazil:
The picture above is that at a Water Treatment Plant at Sao Paolo. I was struck by the cleanliness of the place and attention to minute details. There is an independent regulator whose inspectors regularly come and countercheck to see that all purity standards are rigorously followed. The PlantAuthorities are given qurterly and annual targets to achieve: these are monitored for improved performance.

In Nittaroi, near Rio de Janeiro, the private service provider was performing so efficiently that the Municipality had given them a concession period of 43 years - almost half a century. They are doing very well, increasing coverage of sewerage and water supply even in slum areas and have actually reduced tariff through efficient management, reduction in water leakage etc.

Brazil has the world's largest fresh water reserves, as per UN (though there are regional inequities). In spite of their water abundance, they are paying great emphsis in efficient performance in water supply and sewerage. They have, after a decade long debate,brought out a comprehensive legislation laying down that all water / sanitation utilities (generation and treatment as well as distribution and collection) would have to subject themselves to regulator's scrutiny. Some regulators are multi-sectoral: ie, the power sector regulator may also deal with water sector.

Sanitation/sewerage has to be treated together..As in India, the sewerage services lag behind water services cooverage. There is an organic link and logical connectivity (recycles water is used to clean streets, for example). Besides, an element of financial cross subsidy also come in.

Brazil has a concept of "social tarrif". This refers to subsidised water charges in slum areas. It is set usually by the service provider in consultation with local slum people to ensure maximum coverage. Bulk water is supplied usually at low prices.

Personally, I realised that like the power sector in India, the water/sanitation sector may also be de-bundled and put under the 'glare' of a regulator to optimise service delivery.