Constrained Municipal Services and Citizen Satisfaction Amidst Rapid Urbanization

City Municipal corporations are responsible for the Planning, implementation, and maintenance of the essential civic services. These services include sanitation, maintenance of public facilities, solid waste management, and optionally utilities as water supply for the city’s residents. Depending on the size and scale of the city, the levels of complexity, expenditure and systems to dispense these services may vary. Essentially, the effectiveness of these services determines the quality of life for the city dwellers.  It plays a key part in providing complete support to every individual to conduct their daily life activities without any hindrance. Modern times have seen an extensive migration of people from rural areas to cities/towns searching for better livelihood opportunities. This has resulted in unprecedented pressure on the conditionally planned civic infrastructure and municipality maintenance resources. Cities therefore witness unanticipated problems linked to population explosion such as unplanned construction, chocking of drains leading to waterlogging, unhygienic open sewage systems due to maintenance huddles. Similarly, exponential growth in personal vehicles leads to unmanaged transportation and road development systems causing traffic congestion, unplanned urbanisation, scarcity of housing space, etc. The impact cascades to other variables such as the Air Quality Index, road safety, public facilities, etc.  Water logging

Glimpse of projects where municipal corporations implement various successful strategies include: 

  • Effective Urban Planning with an objective to design a plan considering the urban population growth. 
  • Creating a plan under Citizen Engagement involving common people in terms of obtaining feedback, reporting issues, and preparing decision-making policies.
  • Designing effective projects under the Public-private partnerships plan where the private sector works under the supervision of government bodies to improve efficiency.
  • Follow an effective strategy of Data-driven decision-making where municipalities take decisions based on feedback and market research reports.
  Increased interest of local citizens and taxpayers to monitor the quality of civic services has escalated performance benchmarks of these municipal services. In addition to being responsible to taxpayers for the quality of services, Municipalities are also accountable for the expenditures incurred in dispensing these services. This is because Municipalities obtain funds from central/ state government. Further, various autonomous organisations/ funding agencies also invest significantly in city development projects in India. They also wish to know about the progress of these projects and look for a return on investment in terms of social and economic welfare and development.   Drain Out Water                       Median Research has conducted surveys and has monitored the pre-and-post situation of implementing projects under different municipal corporations. It has conducted discussions with project beneficiaries as well as representatives of non-intervention areas. These respondents have been residing before, during, and after project implementation.  Based on its survey, Median has provided an in-depth understanding of pre- and post-implementation perceptions of citizens about various projects (e.g., water supply, road development, etc.). Based on our extensive research and evaluation, Median has provided crucial information to the Municipal Corporation and donor agencies who are working together for the upliftment of citizen services. Ultimately, Median has also suggested various vital strategies to the Municipal Corporation. Improving municipal services in India is vital for sustainable urban development. Due to the proper implementation of the above strategies, municipal corporations are working efficiently on road construction, proper drainage systems to avoid water logging, implementation of street lamps and improvements in healthcare facilities. Utilising the findings, investors and municipal corporations are working on generating a more organised and logical approach to improve better infrastructure for a better experience for citizens.       

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