White Paper on Urban Wastewater Public-Private Partnerships launched
New Delhi, 6 April, 2016 (ANI)- The Secretary of Ministry of Water Resources, Ganga Rejuvenation and River Development, Shashi Shekhar, today released a white paper on Urban Wastewater PPPs, prepared by the FICCI Water Mission and 2030 Water Resources Group.
He launched the white paper at the India Water Week 2016, in an interactive seminar, jointly organized by FICCI and the Ministry of Water Resources on “Model for Efficient Water Management at Local Level in Urban / Peri-Urban Areas.
Launching the paper, Shekhar remarked “what we have launched today is what we plan to do in Ganga.”
In his endorsement of the FICCI – 2030 Water Resources Group White Paper, the Secretary mentioned that it “provides useful industry perspectives on measures to improve the investment climate and enhance project viability and sustainability through wastewater reuse markets in the long run.”
Developed as a joint collaboration between the FICCI Water Mission and the 2030 Water Resources Group (2030 WRG), the Paper advocates for governments, both at the national and state levels, to focus on improvement in the quality of sewerage services in the country through Public-Private (Community) Partnerships (PP(C)P), over and above private sector participation as a means to bridge the investment gap.
The outcome of extensive stakeholder consultations with industry participants, water and wastewater utilities, government agencies and financiers, the Paper recommends a three level payment security mechanism which involves ring fencing of sewerage revenues at the local government/state utility level, followed by funding support from the state government through a separate State Sanitation Fund, and backstopped by a guarantee facility from the Government of India. It also suggests that the country needs to move to a regime where sewerage charges at least cover O&M expenses.
Naina Lal Kidwai, Chairman, FICCI Water Mission highlighted that “the White Paper aims to serve as a valuable resource for assessing current constraints faced by PPP projects and developing innovative ways of creating a conducive investment climate for private sector involvement in the sewerage sector.”
Co-chairing the session on “Model for Efficient Water Management at Local Level in Urban / Peri-Urban Areas, Pradeep Puri, Chairman, IL&FS Water Ltd. & Chairman, FICCI National Executive Committee on Urban Infrastructure and Smart Cities, remarked, “probably no other aspect of urban infrastructure is more mismanaged than water distribution where we compare very poorly with international benchmarks in terms of efficiency, per capita availability and water tarrifs.” (ANI)
This study on Urban Wastewater PPPs, prepared by FICCI Water Mission and the 2030 Water Resources Group (2030 WRG), with knowledge partner Powertec Engineering, aims to provide the industry perspective on issues affecting PPP projects in the urban wastewater sector and suggests measures to improve the investment climate for these projects and enhance reuse of treated wastewater. This study is the outcome of extensive stakeholder consultation with industry participants through formal interviews, consultative workshops and surveys supplemented by extensive desk research involving review of existing reports on the domestic sewerage sector as well as international and Indian PPP case studies of projects in this sector.
This article has also appeared in the Times of India.