Urban Sanitation in India: Key Shifts in the National Policy Frame

Kavita Wankhade  | 4 June 2015 


Urban sanitation in India faces many challenges. Nearly 60 million people in urban areas lack access to improved sanitation arrangements, and more than two-thirds of waste water is let out untreated into the environment, polluting land and water bodies. To respond to these environmental and public health challenges, urban India will need to address the full cycle of sanitation, i.e., universal access to toilets, with safe collection, conveyance and treatment of human excreta. This paper outlines these concerns, and highlights the need for focusing on access to water and the full cycle of sanitation for the urban poor, as fundamental to addressing the sanitation challenge. Priorities for policy and financing for urban sanitation in India are discussed, and the paper concludes with an examination of key policy initiatives in the last decade, assessing the extent to which these priorities are gaining attention.