Poorly maintained infrastructure, lack of community participation and the inability to recover the maintenance fee from users were the main problems identified by the Gandhigram Trust in the project villages.
The project helped to restore infrastructure and simultaneously generated awareness about the importance of maintaining water supply installations and protecting the water from contamination. Capacity building for maintenance of water supply installations was undertaken by building the technical and managerial capacities of local people to ensure sustainability of the effort post-project period. An active Village Water Committee for regulating water services at the village level and active, representative water user groups. The knowledge and management skills to budget for rejuvenating, replacement, operation and maintenance of installations were imparted to this committee. A tariff system was introduced that enabled a full recovery of the operation and maintenance cost and at least 25% of the capital investment and replacement cost from the water users.
- A Village Water Committee formed for regulating water services at the village level.
- Active Water User Groups representing users organized area wise.
- Tariff system operationalised for achieving full recovery of Operation and Maintenance cost and at least 25% of the capital investment and replacement cost from the water users.
- A simple monitoring system for pumping hours, power consumption, water quality, expenditures and revenue collection etc. introduced.
- Power pump operators and hand pump mechanics trained to repair and keep stock of minimum required tools and spares for maintenance repairs and emergency repairs.
- Existing system of open wells, hand pumps, water pipelines and connections, that were earlier in a state of disuse, were repaired.
- Over 10 hand pumps and more than 100 stand posts renovated to provide hygienic water collection points.
- Area around the over head tanks were cleaned and fenced to keep it clean. The pump operators were trained to maintain the over head tanks by taking measures such as chlorination of water and regular cleaning of the tanks.
- People were trained to keep and handle their drinking water at household level in a hygienic manner to avoid bacterial contamination. They were also taught better hygiene practices such as keeping areas around the water collection points clean.
- People were also trained to keep their washing areas away from the water collection points. Soak pits and kitchen gardens were constructed to prevent water stagnation and spread of disease.
- Over Rs. 60,000 was leveraged from the Panchayat for maintenance activities.