Water supply for informal settlements

JUSCO’s initiative, in Jamshedpur, aims to connect the urban poor residing in the informal settlements to adequate water supply network at an affordable cost.


The Jamshedpur Utilities and Services Company (JUSCO) was set up in the industrial city of Jamshedpur as a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Steel in 2004. JUSCO is a one-stop utility service provider in water sector and waste water management, construction, municipal solid waste management, horticulture, integrated facility management and power sector. JUSCO’s initiative in slum areas was selected as a best practice because of its unique model of a private sector undertaking providing citizen centric services to the urban poor while ensuring profitability and sustainability of the venture.

This initiative was triggered when the community expressed their disagreement at the state government’s decision to constitute a municipal corporation in the industrial township. In response to the local preference, JUSCO started its pilot project in two slum areas on citizen corporate partnership basis. After successful completion of the pilot project JUSCO utilised its learning to upscale the project in all other informal settlements across the township. Keeping in mind the feasibility of low income households a unique shared cost model was developed by the organisation. While JUSCO at its own cost undertook the back-end investment, the customers paid the connection charges in installments. Though initially a flat rate system was introduced, the metered tariff regime took over the operation subsequently.

For continuous improvement of service delivery standards JUSCO undertook several measures such as periodic free chlorine test, following ISO 9001 and 14001, implementation of Total Productive Maintenance, technical tie up with world’s largest supplier of water services- Veolia Water, and establishment of a round the clock customer complaint centre etc. The success of this initiative is largely based on its bottom up approach as a part of which JUSCO has involved the communities in every step of planning, implementation, financing and monitoring. Another highlight of this initiative is its success in reducing the huge volume of non revenue water and redistribution of these in the unserved areas.

This initiative has provided close to 13,000 water connections since 2005–2009 covering a population of 90,000 people across slum pockets of the city that have been deprived of such service for more than 50 years. In the year 2008 JUSCO won the prestigious Global Water Intelligence Award and in 2009 the Japan Institute of Plant Management (JIPM) Award for TPM excellence.

This case study was published in November 2011.

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