ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Waste Management and Cleanliness in Cities

Linking Expenditure with Service Delivery and Its Performance

The paper compares solid waste management revenue expenditure of 27 cities with the performance outcomes on cleanliness as measured by the Swachh Survekshan survey. Nineteen out of 27 cities spend more than the benchmark, yet none have an expected perfect score. While spending has a significantly positive impact on cleanliness, it explains only 23% of the variation.


The authors have benefited immensely from comments and suggestions from Om Mathur, Ireena Vittal, Jagan Shah, Sunali Rohra, and Utkarsh Patel. The authors also thank a number of experts for offering clarifications to their queries: Srikanth Vishwanath, Lakshmi Narayan, Anuradha Govind, Seema Redkar, Velan Murugesan, and Shubash Dalvi.

India is urbanising rapidly; the urban share of population has steadily increased from 18% in 1971 to about 34% in 2020. It is expected to touch 40% by 2030, thus amounting to approximately 600 million urban inhabitants. Increasing ­urbanisation is a systemic phenomenon observed globally, characterised by the workforce moving away from agriculture to non-agriculture jobs and people moving away from villages to cities in pursuit of better livelihoods. While urbanisation has followed the standard script, the same may not be true with respect to how much value India has derived from this rural–urban shift. The urban share of the net domestic product (NDP) was 38% in 1971, which grew steadily to 52% by 2000. However, from 2000 to 2012, the urban share of the NDP has ­remained constant at 52%. Since the urban population has inc­reased steadily from 2000 to 2011, the constant urban share of NDP implies that per capita urban NDP growth has been lower than per capita rural growth during this time period. This may be an indication that urban centres are not able to create enough high-productive jobs and/or not allowing existing inha­bitants to increase their productivity fast enough. It is noteworthy that increasing the share of urban NDP between 1971 and 2000 and stagnant share between 2000 and 2012 is accompanied by increasing the share of rural manufacturing, which steadily increased from 26% of the overall manufacturing in 1971 to 51% by 2012 (Chand et al 2017). It would be interesting to observe whether the urban share of NDP increases over time to around 60% by 2020 as estimated by multiple credible sources (Figure 1, p 55).

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Updated On : 18th Oct, 2021
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