The ULB Conundrum
The state of water and sanitation has considerably improved in the 21st century. The pandemic has re-established the relevance of water and sanitation in urban areas. Linking the 15th Finance Commission grant of Rs 25,464 crore (two-thirds of a total Rs 38,196 crore) for million-plus urban agglomerations and 60 per cent of the remaining Rs. 82,859 crore for other cities to performance indicators of water, sanitation and solid waste management is a step towards making our cities healthier.
At first glance, it sounds like a great opportunity as fiscal deficit is one of the major issues faced by most urban local bodies (ULBs), especially small and medium cities. However, this grant provision could be an opportunity lost if the other challenges faced by ULBs are not addressed simu