Exclusion of poor and scheduled castes people in drinking water supply networks in Rajasthan

Original Query: Jyotsna Bapat, Independent Consultant, New Delhi
Posted: 2 November 2005

The demand driven sector reforms in rural and semi urban parts of the country in the Drinking Water sector is of interest to me. During my recent field visit in Rajasthan, I found that it is easy for a dominant caste group from a hamlet to use the 'demand driven approach' and avail a subsidy for getting piped water supply into their houses. In this process, they leave out the poor and the scheduled caste households who could not afford to contribute the cash for the piped drinking water network.

At the same time once this piped supply become available to them, the maintenance of traditional sources of drinking water like dug wells and hand pumps are neglected, even though they continue to be used by the lower caste groups.

What I would like to know is how common or uncommon is my observation related to water sector reform program in other states/in other parts of the country? I would really appreciate if you could share your field observations with me.

Look forward to responses

Please see attachment below for the responses.