Urban development for economic growth was a universal strategy of the government of India under its 10th Five-Year Plan (FYP), 2002−2007, and 11th FYP, 2007−2012. The strategy was spearheaded by urban development schemes such as the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission and its subcomponent, the Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small and Medium Towns. In support of the strategy, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a $273 million multitranche financing facility for the Rajasthan Urban Sector Development Investment Program in October 2007.
The MFF, provided in three tranches, had two components: (i) improvements in urban infrastructure, including water supply, wastewater management, solid waste management (SWM), urban drainage, road rehabilitation and safety, and social and cultural heritage infrastructure; and (ii) capacity development and implementation support. Targeting 15 ULBs, it aimed to contribute to increasing economic growth, reducing poverty, and sustaining urban environmental and quality of life improvements in the program ULBs, as impact. Its intended outcomes were increased access to sustainable urban infrastructure and services for 1.4 million people and improved capacity for and sustainable management of urban services in the program ULBs.
Tranche 1, comprising a $60 million loan approved together with the MFF, supported project 1 that closed in December 2014. Tranche 2, comprising a $150 million loan for project 2, was approved in January 2009. Tranche 3, which financed project 3 with a $63 million loan, was approved in December 2010. This report covers project 3 and the entire MFF that, along with project 2, closed in June 2017.
At appraisal, project 3 was expected to benefit 12 ULBs with (i) increased duration of drinking water supply that meets national water quality standards in two ULBs, (ii) nonrevenue water reduced to 20% in two ULBs, (iii) increased population with access to piped sewerage provided in five ULBs, and (iv) 50% of households provided with house-to-house municipal waste collection in all ULBs, with 25% coverage of slum and low-income or women-headed households.
At completion, project 3 substantially delivered its planned outputs and outcomes. Consumer water meters were installed or replaced; and the coverage of piped water connections was increased to 85% of the individual households in the program ULBs, a significant number of whom were slum and low-income families. Water supply sources and intake and water treatment capacity were improved. Water distribution networks were rehabilitated and augmented; however, a roadmap for 24x7 water supply was not prepared for two ULBs, as planned.
The drinking water quality target under project 3 was consequently met, and the reliability and average duration of supply was increased, although an 8-hour daily supply could not be achieved, especially in summers in the desert region. Nonrevenue water had been reduced to 20% and 15% in the two ULBs, as targeted.
Piped sewerage infrastructure, including sewage treatment plants, were developed in five ULBs. All ULBs reported covering more than 90% of households with door-to-door collection and transportation of municipal solid waste.
Substantial output and outcome deliveries under project 3 sealed the success of the MFF/investment program in achieving its intended outcomes, fully accomplishing 12 of its 13 outcome targets. MFF water supply interventions resulted in asset creation, improved production, pumping and distribution efficiencies, additional potable water, lesser unaccounted-for-water (UFW), and lower operation and maintenance (O&M) costs. The water supply component benefitted over 2.28 million people or 96% of the population in the 15 program ULBs
MFF wastewater interventions produced assets and developed a safe disposal system for sewage and protected water bodies. Discharge of untreated wastewater to water bodies consequently declined. Facilities established in 14 hitherto unserved ULBs benefited 1.92 million people. Drainage outfalls rehabilitated or constructed and roadside drains built reduced flooding incidence and flood duration in the intervention sites.
The urban transport component improved mobility in 13 ULBs, benefitting residents, particularly the poor, with enhanced access to economic opportunities. Traffic congestion was eliminated. Average travel times, travel costs, and road accidents were reduced
Over 0.21 million people living in identified slums benefited from improved basic infrastructure and urban services, which resulted in significantly improved living conditions.
However, the MFF’s SWM outcome target was only partly achieved. While the capacity of ULBs to collect and transport waste was augmented through the provision of equipment to 15 ULBs, the ULBs’ access to sanitary landfill facilities was unmet as the five landfills developed remained nonfunctional and the remaining planned landfills were dropped due to the state government’s decision to develop compost plants.
Overall, the MFF thus succeeded in achieving its envisaged impact. While it may not have directly impacted the statistics that indicate the sharpest decline in poverty in the country in recent years and significant increases in district domestic products, the MFF’s contribution was nevertheless significant. The MFF focused on urban areas that, as of 2014, had grown to contribute around 45% gross state domestic product and 11% average growth in per capita net state domestic product.
The program had the Local Self Government Department of Rajasthan as executing agency. The investment program management unit served as the overall implementing agency, supervising the work of the investment program implementation units in each project town.