JavaScript must be enabled in order for you to use the Site in standard view. However, it seems JavaScript is either disabled or not supported by your browser. To use standard view, enable JavaScript by changing your browser options.

| Last Updated:: 10/02/2016

Schemes & Policies

National Urban Sanitation Policy


In November 2008, Government of India launched a national urban sanitation policy with the goal of creating what it calls "totally sanitized cities" that are open-defecation free, safely collect and treat all their wastewater, eliminate manual scavenging and collect and dispose solid waste safely. As of 2010, 12 states were in the process of elaborating or had completed state sanitation strategies on the basis of the policy. 120 cities are in the process of preparing city sanitation plans. Furthermore, 436 cities rated themselves in terms of their achievements and processes concerning sanitation in an effort supported by the Ministry of Urban Development with the assistance of several donors. About 40% of the cities were in the "red category" (in need of immediate remedial action), more than 50% were in the "black category" (needing considerable improvement) and only a handful of cities were in the "blue category" (recovering). Not a single city was included in the "green category" (healthy and clean city). The rating serves as a baseline to measure improvements in the future and to prioritize actions. The government intends to award a prize called Nirmal Shahar Puraskar to the best sanitation performers. More Details....


Source: Ministry Of Urban Development, Government of India


National Urban Sanitation Policy: Towards City Wide Sanitation


National Water Policy


A scarce natural resource, water is fundamental to life, livelihood, food security and sustainable development. India has more than 18 % of the world’s population, but has only 4% of world’s renewable water resources and 2.4% of world’s land area. There are further limits on utilizable quantities of water owing to uneven distribution over time and space. In addition, there are challenges of frequent floods and droughts in one or the other part of the country. With a growing population and rising needs of a fast developing nation as well as the given indications of the impact of climate change, availability of utilizable water will be under further strain in future with the possibility of deepening water conflicts among different user groups. Low consciousness about the scarcity of water and its life sustaining and economic value results in its mismanagement, wastage, and inefficient use, as also pollution and reduction of flows below minimum ecological needs. In addition, there are inequities in distribution and lack of a unified perspective in planning, management and use of water resources. The objective of the National Water Policy is to take cognizance of the existing situation, to propose a framework for creation of a system of laws and institutions and for a plan of action with a unified national perspective.


The present scenario of water resources and their management in India has given rise to several concerns, important amongst them are:



  • Large parts of India have already become water stressed. Rapid growth in demand for water due to population growth, urbanization and changing lifestyle pose serious challenges to water security.
  • Issues related to water governance have not been addressed adequately. Mismanagement of water resources has led to a critical situation in many parts of the country.
  • There is wide temporal and spatial variation in availability of water, which may increase substantially due to a combination of climate change, causing deepening of water crisis and incidences of water related disasters, i.e., floods, increased erosion and increased frequency of droughts, etc.
  • Climate change may also increase the sea levels. This may lead to salinity intrusion in ground water aquifers / surface waters and increased coastal inundation in coastal regions, adversely impacting habitations, agriculture and industry in such regions.
  • Access to safe water for drinking and other domestic needs still continues to be a problem in many areas. Skewed availability of water between different regions and different people in the same region and also the intermittent and unreliable water supply system has the potential of causing social unrest. More Details....



Source: Ministry of Water Resources, Government of India, 2012


National Rural Health Mission


National Rural Health Mission or NRHM as it could be established on the basis of its mission documents was a Government of India intervention to correct the public health sector of the country. It was launched in April 2005 and had continued until March 2012. In fact Government of India had adopted a time bound and mission oriented approach to correct the public health situation in the country (MOHFW 2005). However it was all the probability that it would further continue during the 12th plan period starting from April 1, 2012.


It was found that National Rural Health Mission was a combination of several programs including population stabilization, disease control, nutrition, water & sanitation, improvement of workforce, infrastructure, and logistics. Therefore it could say that National Rural Health Mission was like a sunshade or a podium under which several health and development programs were implemented however the main focus was towards providing financial and know how assistance to states to eliminate the gaps existing in terms of work force, infrastructure, and logistics. In addition it further took in hand health determinants especially nutrition to an extent. For all such diversified approaches National Rural Health Mission had to establish wide spread sectoral and inter sectoral convergences, public private partnerships, forging alliances with developmental partners and outsourcing of some key supportive and medical services. It could be further evident from the NRHM framework of implementation (MOHFW 2005) that National Rural Health Mission had recognized the need to make optimal use of the non-governmental sector to strengthen public health systems to increase access to medical care for the poor. National Rural Health Mission attempted a major shift in the governance of public health by giving leadership to Punchayati Raj Institutions and other local bodies in matters related to health at district and sub-district levels. More Details....


Source: Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India


National Health Policy Draft 2015


Central Rural Sanitation Programme


Individual Health and hygiene is largely dependent on adequate availability of drinking water and proper sanitation. There is, therefore, a direct relationship between water, sanitation and health. Consumption of unsafe drinking water, improper disposal of human excreta, improper environmental sanitation and lack of personal and food hygiene have been major causes of many diseases in developing countries. India is no exception to this. Prevailing High Infant Mortality Rate is also largely attributed to poor sanitation. It was in this context that the Central Rural Sanitation Programme (CRSP) was launched in 1986 primarily with the objective of improving the quality of life of the rural people and also to provide privacy and dignity to women.


The concept of sanitation was earlier limited to disposal of human excreta by cesspools, open ditches, pit latrines, bucket system etc. Today it connotes a comprehensive concept, which includes liquid and solid waste disposal, food hygiene, and personal, domestic as well as environmental hygiene. Proper sanitation is important not only from the general health point of view but it has a vital role to play in our individual and social life too. Sanitation is one of the basic determinants of quality of life and human development index. Good sanitary practices prevent contamination of water and soil and thereby prevent diseases. The concept of sanitation was, therefore, expanded to include personal hygiene, home sanitation, safe water, garbage disposal, excreta disposal and waste water disposal.


A comprehensive Baseline Survey on Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices in rural water supply and sanitation was conducted during 1996-97 under the aegis of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, which showed that 55% of those with private latrines were self-motivated. Only 2% of the respondents claimed the existence of subsidy as the major motivating factor, while 54% claimed to have gone in for sanitary latrines due to convenience and privacy. The study also showed that 51% of the respondents were willing to spend upto Rs.1000/- to acquire sanitary toilets. 


Source: Guidelines Central Rural Sanitation Prrogramme, 2011


National Water and Sanitation programme


A national water supply and sanitation program was introduced in the social sector in the country in 1954. The Government of India provided assistance to the States to establish special investigation divisions in the Fourth Five Year Plan to carry out identification of problem villages. Taking into account the magnitude of the problem, and to accelerate the pace of coverage of problem villages, the Government of India introduced the Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programme (ARWSP) in 1972- 73 to assist States and Union Territories with 100% grants-in-aid to implement drinking water supply schemes in such villages. The entire programme was given a Mission approach when the Technology Mission on Drinking Water Management, called the National Drinking Water Mission (NDWM), was introduced as one of the five Missions in social sector in 1986. NDWM was renamed as Rajiv Gandhi National Drinking Water Mission (RGNDWM) in 1991.


The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDWS) has developed a Sanitation and Hygiene Advocacy and Communication Strategy Framework (2012-2017) (SHACS) focusing on the promotion of positive sanitation and hygiene behaviors for adoption by households and communities. The aim is to create a new social norm that considers open defecation totally unacceptable. The four critical behaviours identified by the SHACS are-


  • Building and use of toilets
  • Safe disposal of child faeces
  • Hand washing with soap after defecation, before
  • Food and after handling child faeces
  • Safe storage and handling of drinking water


Even those with access to water and sanitation often have to cope with poor service. Improving utilities’ performance is crucial to ensure continuous service and lower levels of leakage, which affect both the quality and quantity of water available to end users and the utility’s financial sustainability. Social and financial considerations must also be addressed in the design, planning and implementation of water and sanitation policies and facilities to keep services affordable for the poorest. Tariff policies and strategic financial planning involving governments, service providers, end – users and donors are important to ensuring sustainable water and sanitation service for all.


Progress on sanitation and drinking-water




In 2011, almost two thirds (64%) of the world population relied on improved sanitation facilities, and since 1990 almost 1.9 billion people gained access to an improved sanitation facility.


However, by end of 2011, 2.5 billion people lacked access to an improved sanitation facility. Of these, 761 million use public or shared sanitation facilities and another 693 million use facilities that do not meet minimum standards of hygiene. The world remains off track to meet the MDG sanitation target, which requires reducing the proportion of people without access from 51 percent to 25 per cent by 2015.


Greatest progress has been made in East Asia, where sanitation coverage has increased from 27 in 1990 to 67% in 2011. This amounts to 626 million people gaining access to improved sanitation facilities over 21 year.


Open defecation


Globally, open defecation rates declined from 24% in 1990 to 15% in 2011. This signifies a drop of 250 million people to 1.04 billion in 2011.


Eastern Asia, South East Asia and the Latin America and Caribbean regions have seen a steady decline since the JMP’s earliest measurement describing conditions in 1990. In South Asia the population practicing open defecation peaked around 1995 – after which it declined. Only in sub-Saharan Africa is the number of people defecating in the open still increasing.




89% of the world population used an improved drinking-water source by end of 2011. 55% enjoyed the convenience and associated health benefits of a piped supply on premises.


An estimated 768 million people did not use an improved source for drinking-water in 2011 and 185 million relied on surface water to meet their daily drinking-water needs. Read more....