Municipal waste management in Surat, India


"Surat is a rapidly growing city in Gujarat, India. Long known as one of the least hygienic cities in the country, Surat experienced an outbreak of pneumonic plague in 1994 associated with flooding, poor hygiene and inadequate waste disposal; this prompted the municipal government to undertake a wide-ranging set of actions to improve the urban environment, including a transformation of the water management system. By 2009, Surat was considered one of the cleanest cities in India.

Surat took a broadly intersectoral approach to environmental management, with significant impacts on health. Among other actions, it radically extended and improved its water supply, sanitation and drainage infrastructure, while also decentralizing administrative functions and involving the private sector in urban service provision. A key element of the municipal transformation was the ability to pursue multiple cross-sectoral goals simultaneously through a judicious understanding of co-benefits. The “better coordination across agencies and actors” prompted by the 1994 plague event even set the stage for Surat to respond to major floods in 2006 by adopting a City Resilience Strategy in 2011."
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  • Systems approaches for urban water management & health

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