India’s more than seven thousand cities and towns rank poorly on water supply and sanitation indices. The scale of the gap in access to safe, reliable and sustainable services is considerably more than other countries, leading to severe public health, environment and economic consequences. The challenge is to provide adequate infrastructure for water supply and sanitation, and ensure reliability of services. Also, our urban agglomerations generate enormous municipal and other waste, while lacking efficient and complete waste management solutions ranging from collection, segregation, recycling, treatment and safe disposal. Cities are widespread and communities within them lead lives in silos, so there is no cross-city support for clean cities. Finally, the city governments, despite hiring conservancy staff, struggle to provide services and maintain the existing infrastructure, thus making it difficult to prepare for the growing population in urban India.
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