Lest our ideas are recognized

Posted on January 12, 2011


There are instances when we come through important and practical thoughts and ideas in profession, while on other hand we come across generic statements as well.

I was going through a note from an important consultation approach paper titled ‘Inputs from the Civil Society Consultations on Rural Water and Sanitation for the Approach Paper to Planning Commission’s 12th Five Year Plan’, that lead me to read the document at http://bit.ly/i21ppX . The approach paper is meant to given practical suggestions and recommendations to Planning Commission at Government of India for its 12th five year plan, on various planning related aspects in Rural Water Supply and Sanitation issues.

I wonder that though the document encompasses through various thematic topics, of which ‘Beyond WATSAN’ was quite interesting, but, remaining five were like the statement sums of all equations, that one could come across lifetime. Here, I feel that, when we are coming forward to give practical recommendations to a premier institution like Planning Commission of India, we must use our useful experiences and rational thoughts, for specific recommendations. It would be wise when such recommendation are based on certain examples and have the possibility of getting incorporated in said five year plan document. Time again, we should not be idealistic in giving suggestions those are neither practical nor feasible in any sense. I am wondering that, there is little coverage and mention about the water supply planning and sanitation related important aspects from 11 mountain states of India.

I am also wondering that on one hand Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS) is on its way of developing fresh policy and guidelines for water and sanitation and on other Planning Commission of India is in the process of getting such documents prepared. Here, I don’t see any such mention in the approach paper, vis-à-vis any such coordination between Planning Commission of India and the agency entrusted the role of ‘Ensuring safe and sustainable water supply Sanitation for all’ i.e. Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation. It also becomes futile exercise when, within the agencies in India, there is no common understanding and coordination for preparing or helping the government in preparation of such policy document.

I could visualize the situation that, when the government institutions like Planning Commission of India will get plethora of such information and suggestion from all quarters, and ultimately our advisors, consultants and bureaucrats would not be able to pull out the practical recommendations for proposed policy document. Then, this will be an added dilemma to a proposed ‘reform’ and ‘set targets’!

Posted in: Development, Water