To allay citizens' fears about public private partnerships (PPP) in services like water supply and healthcare, the government plans to add another P to the PPP framework, People.
The approach paper for the 12th Five-year Plan recommends that people must have a central role in deciding the structure and monitor the progress of PPP projects in areas of essential public services. While people may not have a direct stake in infrastructure projects like highways, their role can be crucial in PPPs for public services delivery. In isolated pockets of the country, PPPP-style projects have already worked well. Tamil Nadu is now replicating a successful PPP project in Alandur, a Chennai suburb, where a sewage system was built from scratch with capital from the state government, the private contractor and 5,000 from every household.
In fluoride-affected districts of Rajasthan like Jhunjhunu, operation and maintenance of water supply projects is done by the people themselves. Local villagers are willing to pay more tariff than paid by Jaipur residents, even though the project provides water only at public stand-posts.
The concept of PPPP is a very rich and it is evolving around the world. There will be variations between urban and rural needs and many different models may emerge.