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  • Author: Anindita Mukherjee, Anju Dwivedi, Neha Agarwal
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The state of Odisha has made unprecedented strides in increasing access to individual toilets from 14% in 2011 to a purported 100% in 2019 under the Swachh Bharat Mission - Gramin. In light of the clarion call of a ‘Swachha Odisha, Sustha Odisha’, and the national imperatives set by the National Rural Sanitation Strategy, 2019-2029, the state has created a systematic framework towards the achievement of total sanitation in the form of the Odisha Rural Sanitation Policy, 2020. To inform the creation of the Policy and shape its contours for responding optimally to ground realities, we undertook a rapid assessment of the prevailing sanitation practices in three districts of the state. The present report discusses the resulting findings relating to varied aspects of rural sanitation - ranging from trends in toilet use and on-site sanitation systems to the availability and state of Solid and Liquid Waste Management (SLWM) infrastructure.
  • Topic: Infrastructure, Governance, Rural, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Aditya Bhol, Shubhagato Dasgupta, Anindita Mukherjee
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: This report aims to explore the nuances of the prevalence of on-site sanitation systems in large and dense villages of India. Villages which have a population of 1000 persons or more and a density of greater than or equal to 400 persons per square kilometre were classified as large and dense villages in earlier research – Towards a New Research and Policy Paradigm: An Analysis of the Sanitation Situation in Large Dense Villages. Stimulated by the findings revealing a preferential pattern for selection of on-site sanitation systems in these settlements, a primary household survey was conducted in large and dense villages from five Indian states - Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The survey also included qualitative components – stakeholder interviews and transect walks. In this study the survey data has been canvassed to explore the preference patterns of households and the factors guiding them in their decision making for the construction and maintenance of on-site sanitation systems. We find that these large and dense villages exhibit a higher preference for septic tanks over pits in all states except West Bengal where pits are preferred. A majority of households have reported their toilets were private constructions. Broad findings and trends emerging from the survey were discussed in details in the report – Sanitation in Large and Dense Villages of India: The Last Mile and Beyond. In this report we discuss targeted questions on the preference patterns for on-site containment systems that are manifested not only by the choices of building septic tanks or pits but also through the large variations in their design and sizes which are influenced by socio-economic, technical and behavioural factors. We also find specific trends in deviations from prescribed design and demand for desludging services by households which are influenced by internal factors such as their social status and economic well-being and by external factors such as availability of mechanised operators or continued reliance on manual cleaning and their costs which cumulatively constitute the supply side of sanitation services.
  • Topic: Government, Water, Infrastructure, Social Policy, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Linear projects like highways have the potential to change existing land use of large areas. These changes are not limited only to the stretches made for transportation of vehicles. The effects of construction are also visible on landscapes on both sides of highways. This study presents the findings of a two-year long groundtruthing study carried out between June 2016 and August 2018 along 187 kilometres of National Highway 66. The study is a collaborative effort of the Centre for Policy Research-Namati Environmental Justice Programme and communities from towns and villages situated between Karwar and Kundapur, especially the 27 Panchayats, in the district of Uttara Kannada in Karnataka. The study presents evidence of non-compliance of environmental safeguards resulting in social, economic and health impacts on the local communities in the project areas. It also highlights several aspects that were not taken into account in the project’s impact assessments. The study includes a broad assessment of the project’s scale of direct impacts. During the course of the study, the following types of non-compliance were identified: Permissions for blasting, groundwater and river water withdrawal were not taken; Dumping soil on wetlands and creeks caused flooding and salt water intrusion; The construction caused soil erosion and landslides along embankments; Non-submission of six-monthly compliance reports by the project proponent; Non-compliance of other laws and compensation agreements; The report includes a case study of a stone crusher unit operating in Bogribail village and causing water and dust pollution.
  • Topic: Development, Environment, Infrastructure, Law, Social Policy, Pollution
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Shubhagato Dasgupta, Neha Agarwal, Anindita Mukherjee
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: As per the National Sample Survey 2018, nearly 60% of urban India relies on On-Site Sanitation (OSS) systems, like septic tanks and leaching pits, for the management of faecal waste. Augmentation of toilet access over the last five years under the Swachh Bharat Mission has only served to entrench this dependence, despite a push for centralized sewerage systems underwritten by schemes like AMRUT in Class I cities during the same period. Notwithstanding their scale and criticality to public health outcomes, OSS systems are poorly regulated and consequently ill-constructed in India. Therefore, it is vital to address the deficiencies in the downstream sanitation service chain beyond the toilet – beginning with the OSS system - to ensure that India meets its targets toward providing ‘Safely Managed Sanitation Services’ under the Sustainable Development Goal 6. The present study is a novel attempt to systematically analyse the state of OSS in urban India through a sample survey of 3000 households and more than 50 key informant-interviews across ten cities in four states. It shows that septic tanks, confused in common parlance and practice for a septic tank system, comprise the majority of all OSS systems at over 90%. However, in meeting household-level preferences, these systems exhibit variations along each of the principal design parameters, which cumulatively result in less than 2% of all surveyed septic tanks meeting the major requirements of the national governing standards. It finds OSS fraught with several compelling needs, including the inefficacy of septic tanks as primary treatment units, the lack of secondary treatment and safe disposal of pathogenic effluent, their delayed maintenance, and the lack of greywater management. In systematically identifying these issues, the report also recommends interventions in design, planning, and governance for safer and more sustainable on-site sanitation.
  • Topic: Water, Infrastructure, Urban, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Navroz K. Dubash, Sunita S. Kale, Ranjit Bharvirkar, Ashwini K. Swain, Elizabeth Chatterjee, Hema Ramakrishnan, Jonathan Balls, Kalpana Dixit, Meera Sudhakar, Megha Kaladharan, Rohit Chandra, Siddharth Sareen
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: This is a compilation of blogs by the authors of 'Mapping Power: The Political Economy of Electricity in India’s States' (Oxford University Press), edited by Navroz K. Dubash (Centre for Policy Research), Sunila S. Kale (University of Washington), and Ranjit S. Bharvirkar (Regulatory Assistance Project). Featuring analysis from the book, this compilation highlights the politics of electricity access and distribution in Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, and the National Capital Region in India.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Political Economy, Infrastructure, Social Policy, Electricity
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Navroz K. Dubash, Ashwini K. Swain
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: India’s move to electrify every village and household in the country has been lauded as a success. Building on decades of targeted programmes and public investments by multiple governments, the country completed 100% village electrification in April 2018; a year after, it has electrified nearly all ‘willing’ households. Despite the time it took to get here, these achievements are important milestones in India’s development trajectory. But does connecting households to the electric grid resolve the electricity access challenge? The answer depends on whether electrons flow through the wires and whether all consumers are served equally and adequately.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Infrastructure, Investment, Electricity
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Aditya Bhol, Shubhagato Dasgupta, Anindita Mukherjee, Aastha Jain
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The aim of this white paper is to explore the nuances of the prevalence of on-site sanitation systems in large and dense villages of India. Villages which have a population of 1000 persons or more and a density of greater than or equal to 400 persons per square kilometre were classified as large and dense villages in an earlier research – Towards a New Research and Policy Paradigm: An Analysis of the Sanitation Situation in Large Dense Villages. Stimulated by the findings revealing a preferential pattern for selection of on-site sanitation systems in these settlements, a primary household survey was conducted in large and dense villages from five Indian states - Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The survey also included qualitative components – stakeholder interviews and transect walks. In this study the survey data has been canvassed to explore the preference patterns of households and the factors guiding them in their decision making for the construction and maintenance of on-site sanitation systems. We find that these large and dense villages exhibit a higher preference for septic tanks over pits in all states except West Bengal where pits are preferred. A majority of households have reported their toilets were private constructions. We find the preference patterns are manifested not only by the choices of building septic tanks or pits but also through the large variations in their design and sizes which are influenced by socio-economic, technical and behavioural factors. We also find specific trends in demand for desludging services by households which are influenced by internal factors such as their social status and economic well-being and by external factors such as availability of mechanised operators or continued reliance on manual cleaning and their costs which cumulatively constitute the supply side of sanitation services.
  • Topic: Government, Water, Infrastructure, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Over the past four years, the national policy environment and institutional response to sanitation have undergone a substantial change. The launch of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) and Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) have catapulted sanitation into the league of priority sectors. In the backdrop of such developments, Housing and Urban Development Department under the Government of Odisha sought to revise the Urban Sanitation Strategy 2011 with the able support from the Centre for Policy Research (CPR) supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The revised Odisha Urban Sanitation Strategy 2017 and Odisha Urban Sanitation Policy 2017 make crucial strides towards the achievement of a Clean Odisha. The purview of the strategy has been expanded to address gaps in the entire sanitation value chain for the management of not only solid waste, but also liquid waste including faecal sludge/septage and menstrual hygiene. The revised strategy is grounded in the principles that have underpinned the Odisha government's efforts so far to provide the people with equitable and safe access to sanitation, along with establishing the most advanced sanitation infrastructure. Over the next ten years, concerned departments will work towards six objectives: (a) achieving open defecation free and (b) open discharge free urban areas; (c) effectively managing and treating solid waste; (d) ensuring that sewage, (e) septage/faecal sludge and liquid waste are safely treated and disposed; and (f) ensuring safety guidelines are followed in physical handling and management of waste. In addition, providing women and girls with safe access to menstrual hygiene has also been included as an objective in the revised strategy.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Infrastructure, Governance, Public Policy, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Nimmi Kurian
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: China’s One Belt One Road Initiative has virtually been a lightning rod for divisive debate and a polarised narrative since it was announced in 2013. For India, it has been the proverbial elephant in the room, as it awkwardly swings between willful pretence and wishful erasure. The policy brief looks at the clues this initiative could offer on the likely drivers of China’s economic diplomacy in the region. There could be three signals for India to watch out for. A clear pointer is the growing role of domestic determinants in setting the direction and pace of China’s regional economic engagement. Another pointer could be China’s role in shaping and defining Asia’s new institutional financial architecture. Lastly, the initiative could be a signal of how China is likely to engage with the larger questions of benefit sharing, trade-offs and the allocation of risks and burdens in subregional Asia.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Infrastructure, Economic Growth, Soft Power
  • Political Geography: China, South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Krithika A. Dinesh, Meenakshi Kapoor, Kanchi Kohli, Manju Menon, Preeti Venkatram
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: People around the world live in areas that have been altered for industrial, infrastructure or mining projects. Their lives and occupations are being negatively impacted by problems of access, encroachment or pollution. Though governments in many countries have regulatory procedures for implementing environmental and social safeguards that are applicable to such projects so that problems can be minimised or mitigated, the qualitative difference of such regulatory systems depends on the efficacy of their compliance safeguards. Typically, in countries where compliance is low, projects meant for development have also resulted in substantial environmental and social costs. Governments and investors fear the implementation of environmental policies and claim that these are bottlenecks or speed breakers to growth. Several new studies show that stringent compliance of environmental policies will neither affect competitiveness nor slow down GDP growth. On the contrary, it may result in bottom line benefits at the level of projects as well as sustain economic growth by enhancing efficiency and innovation. India promulgated a series of environmental legislations between 1980 and 2005 to ensure that environmental and social impacts of land use change, infrastructure development and industrialisation are kept in check and timely mitigation is undertaken. The laws establish detailed procedures for assessing the environmental impacts of the proposed projects that are likely to cause land use change. The laws also involve the laying of conditions that are attached to the approvals granted to these projects. These conditions are meant to mitigate or prevent damage or impacts to the extent ascertained by the project proponents and the government or regulator. Since the time these laws were first designed, there have been numerous amendments to them to change the scope of applicability of these laws, the time taken by regulators for decision-making and the sharing of responsibility between state and central governments in implementing these laws. However, one aspect of these laws that has seen minimal change is in their monitoring and compliance regimes. What happens to the projects once they are granted approvals? Do they comply with all the conditions imposed on them for mitigating or minimising environmental and social impacts? Who oversees these processes and what is the extent to which compliance is achieved? This report is the outcome of a research project undertaken to understand the efficacy of conditional compliance, institutional monitoring and enforcement of environmental regulations to address the impacts faced by communities living around industrial and infrastructure projects. The project identified the institutions responsible for monitoring and compliance under various environmental laws, their procedures and practices by which these roles are realised. While it has been known that government agencies and regulatory bodies hold the formal duties of monitoring, the project also focused on how affected communities engage these institutions for greater compliance and remedies in case of environmental and social impacts of various kinds, such as encroachment or damage to common or private property, loss of livelihoods and loss of access to public spaces. By analysing the efforts made by affected parties to engage with environmental institutions to craft remedies for existing environmental impacts, this research aims to highlight regulatory ingredients that are necessary for sound environment regulation and better outcomes through compliance. If translated into concrete policy on environmental monitoring and compliance, these lessons could address the chasm between enforcement of environmental regulations and the ever-growing difficulties of meeting environmental challenges.
  • Topic: Environment, Industrial Policy, Natural Resources, Infrastructure, Legislation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia