World Bank Reviews Public-Private Partnerships in Indian Water Supply
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The Water and Sanitation Program of the World Bank has released a flagship report titled 'Running Water in India's Cities: A Review of Five Recent Public-Private-Partnership Initiatives,' which examines five case studies of Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) arrangements in India, including concession agreements, management contracts, and build-own-transfer (BOT) projects, and identifies lessons learned and considerations for implementation of future schemes.

World BankJanuary 2014: The Water and Sanitation Program of the World Bank has released a flagship report, titled ‘Running Water in India’s Cities: A Review of Five Recent Public-Private-Partnership Initiatives,’ which examines five case studies of Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) arrangements in India, including concession agreements, management contracts, and build-own-transfer (BOT) projects, and identifies lessons learned and considerations for implementation of future schemes.

The report includes case studies from: Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh; Nagpur, Maharashtra; Latur, Maharashtra; Aurangabad, Maharashtra; and Mysore, Karnataka. It draws 11 lessons: projects occurred where bulk water availability was guaranteed; there was a lack of information on existing infrastructure; the reasons and objective of the project was not always accounted for in PPP design and monitoring; financial sustainability was not addressed in PPP design, which focused mostly on technical improvements; institutional design impacted project design, implementation and management; the non-alignment of loyalty and incentives made the transition of city employees to private operators complex; implementation of linked investments by projects relied on public agencies and external grants; there was weak stakeholder engagement and communication; market appetite can be damaged by inadequate project preparation, poor treatment of risks and weak prequalification standards; and universal coverage and common service standards were targets in all projects.

Among its conclusions, the report recommends that cities should: encourage private sector investment through better project preparation and contracts; strengthen public sector institutions to build on contributions from the private sector; and build public sector capacity to manage PPPs. [Publication: Running Water in India’s Cities: A Review of Five Recent PPP Initiatives]

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