11. Slum Level physical works - water supply and solid waste


As most of the slums in Indore have reasonable water supply, an attempt was made to salvage the existing systems in preference to total replacement. The cost of selectively repairing and upgrading in this manner was around Rs. 450 per family in contrast to the conventional cost of water supply Rs. 1000 per family. In addition, the supply was to individual households instead of the community standposts normally provided. The advantages of the individual water connections are obvious in terms of better maintenance, greater convenience and better sewerage flows.

For a more even distribution of pressure, looped networks were generally used in preference to branches. Some of the internal water supply runs were also used to short circuit the main branches of the city, converting them into loops. The benefits of pressure equalization were, therefore, extended to the rest of the city.

Cast iron pipes were used for the critical runs in the main roads, whereas, for the reasons of economy and better frictional properties, cement pipes were used for all internal runs. The house connections were in galvanized iron pipes. Computers were used extensively to make the trade offs between performance and costs.


Solid waste management is a vital urban service from the point of view of hygiene and environment, yet, often neglected. As discovered in Indore, the problem cannot be solved by mere installation of dustbins. A whole system has to be evolved from the doorstep collection to the final disposal. The solid waste component at Indore is only Rs. 10 per family. Clearly this expenditure was not enough.