Infrastructure Services Rajkot Municipal Corporation being a local government is responsible for providing basic infrastructure services including water supply, drainage, roads, street lights, waste management, fire brigade, slum management, Urban Town Planning, preventive health-care, public health, regulation of land use, planning for economic and social development and parks and library services.
Rajkot city with the population of 1 million plus has present water demand of 135 MLD. This is supplied through 122000 trap connections, 2100 stand posts and 550 tankers. Rajkot Municipal corporation is making highest efforts to make water available for supply in city. Presently it is supplying 110 MLD of water which is 90 MLD during scarcity period. RMC is draws water from various surface reservoir viz. Nyari-I, Nyari-II, Aji-III, Bhadar, Lalpari and Randarda lake. This year due to scarcity water is drawn from various borewells drilled in Wankaner region.
There are 4 filteration plants viz. Ribda, Aji, Nyari and Ghanteshwar with total filteration capacity of 110 MLD. The water supply distribution system is divided into 4 zones viz. Jubilee, Gurukul, Nyari and Aji. RMC charges annually and bills are served category wise. The system of water charge bills is computerized and looked after by tax officer.
The Rajkot city under-ground drainage project was framed in 1981 and was accepted by World Bank. The project was delayed due to difficulties in excavation and other contractual problems. Phase-I is completed in all respect and 80,000 connections have been released so far. Sewerage treatment plant with 44.5 MLD capacity and 7 pumping stations are under operation.
The existing drainage network consists of 250 kms long network of collective system, 7000 number of manholes and 7 intermediate pumping stations. The Phase-I project covers only 60 Sq. Kms. The population covered is 60% of the city.
The responsibility of solid waste management in the city lies with health department of Rajkot Municipal Corporation under the supervision of Medical Officer of Health and attempt is also made to start a separate solid waste management department under the supervision of Environment Engineer.
The total waste generated in the city is approximately 500 Metric Tonnes per day. Rajkot Municipal Corporation does not have any facility for processing the solid waste. It has two landfill sites viz. Sokhada having an area 11 acres of land, 12 kms away from the city and Manda dungar 2.5 acres, 7 kms away from the city. Both the land fill sites are about to take fill fully and RMC has already put forward a proposal for new landfill site with Government of Gujarat for 40 acres of another landfill site near Nakrawadi, 15 kms away from the city.
Privatisation is introduced in the primary collection (sweeping) and secondary collection activities of the Corporation. The work involves collection of Solid Waste from all the collection sites and transporting it to the waste disposal site.
Twelve out of the twenty-three wards have been privatised so far for primary collection, transporation and disposal. The percentage participation of the private sector is 70.
Contractors use big trucks while municipality uses smaller vehicles thus increasing the efficiency. To avoid the system of big vehicles going outside the city frequently carrying full quantity of solid waste now it is planned to adopt a system of garbage transfer from smaller vehicles to big vehicles. One garbage transfer station is already constructed and will be in operation very soon. Second garbage station is at construction stage.
The Corporation runs 4 dispensaries and 6 urban family welfare centers. There are three ayurvedic dispensaries which are run by NGO's on behalf of RMC. Besides these there 3 mobile dispensaries are run by NGO under supervision of RMC.
Rajkot Municipal Corporation provides street lighting facilities. There are 25,000 tube lights, 2700 sodium vapour lamps and 4000 mercury lamps. The main intersections have been provided with high mast lamps. In some of the wards the maintenance work of street lights has been contracted out.
The city is affected by wave of rapid Industrialization and urbanization and many people from surrounding region started coming to Rajkot for employment & education increasing the population resulting in high growth rate of 48% during last decades.
The substantial increase in the city's population made city stretch in every direction without planned layout. Many of the public open spaces & river banks are occupied by poor quality dwellings of migrants resulting in the growth of more slums & squatter settlements.
To manage the problem of housing for urban poor, Rajkot Municipal Corporation has under taken projects involving construction of houses, innovative solution for funding, community mobilization etc. leading to sustainable & affordable solution, keeping in view that community needs affordable housing with proper sanitary conditions - not so that poor people can move in, but so that people already living & working here don't have to move out of the city.
For the economically backward class of people low cost housing schemes have been undertaken by Rajkot Municipal Corporation at an affordable cost and a monthly repayment scheme.
Two housing schemes have been completed so far with the financial help of HUDCO involving construction 3012 units in 1998 & 960 units is 2001. For the second housing scheme ( rehabilitation of slums at Dharmnagar ) RMC has received HUDCO Award of Rs.45,000 under low cost housing competition (Urban) 2001-2002. The third scheme is at execution stage for construction of 856 units.
World Bank & HUDCO assistance has encouraged RMC to develop human settlement projects that offer sustainable development for urban poor for providing practical & imaginative solution to current housing problem.
The population has grown by leaps and bounds and the corresponding provision of housing facilities has not kept abreast. Shortage of housing facilities has contributed to the emergence of slums. At present there are 74 (64 recognised + 10 unrecognised) slum localities with an approximately population of approx. 2,00,000 inside the city Municipal limits.
The substantial increase in the city's population after independence made the city stretch in every direction without a planned layout. The city started experiencing ribbon development along the transportation corridors with poor quality dwellings. Many of the public open spaces and river banks were occupied by migrants. A large number of huts were erected without any supporting infrastructural facilities. Establishment of industries in some areas fostered the growth of many more slums and squatter houses in their vicinity. In spite of many physical developmental schemes undertaken by the government, the slums became an unavoidable part of the city. Thus, the layout of Rajkot, which was well planned in the grid-iron pattern with some open spaces as lungs and a river bank water-front, started decaying with the emergence of slums. Presence of squatter settlements made the city areas over-crowded, polluted the environment and deteriorated the standards of living of the people.
The slums in Rajkot are experiencing a faster growth rate than that of the city and many times that of the provision of facilities. There were 24 slums with 4927 households in Rajkot in 1972-73. At present, there are 74 slums with 28,000 households. This indicates an increase of 468 per cent in slum population in just twenty-five years.
The population in the slums varies from one locality to another.
Religion and caste play an important role in the social structure of the Rajkot slums. This is normal from the nomenclature itself. Certain slum pockets are known by the caste of its inhabitants. The majority (almost 90 per cent) of the slum dwellers are Hindus, the remaining being Muslims & Christians.
In Rajkot slums, children below school going age form 8.91 per cent and older children (above 6 years) form 3.67 per cent of the total population. The age group 5-17 pre-dominantly consist of school going children and account for 22.7 per cent of the total population. Primary and secondary education is free of cost. Rajkot Municipal Corporation runs 95 schools with Nagar Prathmik Sikshan Samiti. Most of these schools are situated nearby slum areas so that the children from slum area can get the benefit. Adult education programmes are being arranged under the UBS project through NGOs.
Many government schemes like "Suvarna Jayanti Rojgar Yojana (SJSRY)", training centers for ladies, etc. are implemented by Rajkot Municipal Corporation funded by Municipal Finance Board.
Almost all the slums are provided with basic infrastructure facilities like water supply, drainage, street lights etc. as and when the funds are received under National Slum Development Programme.