Category: Country - India

*This is a category specific page. If you would like a more extensive search, click here *Lessons can be downloaded as CSV/XML here

Incorporating utility shifting as part of the item-rate contract proved to be effective in the timely delivery of projects in some states of India. In road construction projects, the task of utility shifting is usually contracted out to a third-party entity specialized in utility shifting. However, contractors often utilize or abuse this arrangement as an excuse to delay civil works. To prevent such an occurrence, it may be necessary for utility shifting to be included in the bill of quantity items to be carried out by the contractor.

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation, Implementation
Country: India

Some of this project’s initial delays can also be attributed to the need to revise the DPRs because of discrepancies or deficiencies in design, specifications, and quantities. For example, mismatches in the number of culverts and bridges relative to site conditions were found during project implementation.  Additional requirements, including four lanes in urban or habituated sections, were included late in the project, requiring the issuance of variations.  Further, because a wildlife sanctuary clearance was not obtained, one road was dropped from the project. In future, EAs should ensure that DPRs are more meticulously prepared to accord with the site requirements. Also importantly, that the required environmental clearances are obtained during DPR preparation.

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation, Implementation
Country: India

Following the request made by the state public works department through the national government of India, this project was prepared for approval well ahead of the schedule proposed in the country operations business plan. The construction supervision consultants were recruited under ADB’s advance action facility, about 10 months before the start of loan negotiations. However, grounding the project took longer than anticipated. The benefits of advance contracting could not be realized because the EA was short of staff to undertake procurement-related tasks, and contract awards started only in quarter 1 of 2015, or three years after loan approval.  This undermined the advance action’s intention to facilitate timely startup and completion. Especially for sector loan projects with multiple subprojects and contracts, such as this one, it is important that EAs/IAs have an adequate number of skilled procurement staff to ensure project readiness at loan approval and maximize the benefits of advance action.

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation, Implementation
Country: India

The financial management arrangements of the borrower and EA were robust. Separate project financial accounts were maintained and audited by statutory auditors. Except for fiscal year (FY) 2018, APFSs were received, albeit with delays up to 3.6 months from the due dates but within the grace period of 6 months. The APFS for FY2018 was rejected because it included a combined audit report for all three projects despite the requirement for separate reports and opinions. Also, the AEFSs for FY end-2017 and prior years were combined with the APFS. All non-compliances could have been mitigated with tighter monitoring from ADB.  

Project Cycle Stage: Implementation
Country: India

The number of overhead water supply tanks built under the project was reduced from 10 to 8 because of poor contractor performance.  But the outcome target of augmenting potable water supply by 23.5 million liters per day (MLD) was substantially achieved and reached 20 MLD with the installation of 19 tube wells and by replacing more pumps and other electro-mechanical equipment than targeted (148 actual against the 112 target).  The adjustments also resulted in an additional 10,200 people in low-income or poor households (against the target of 3,800) benefiting from the increase in water supply.  These accomplishments demonstrate how being outcome-oriented could lead to better results. Nevertheless, the design could have considered incorporating more comprehensive solutions, such as 24x7 water supply with O&M arrangements, into construction contracts. This would have maximized the benefits from the improved water supply systems and enhanced the sustainability of both the project benefits and assets.

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation
Country: India

The recruitment of a new project management consultant (PMC) and a new design and construction supervision consultant (DSC) for the MFF, although late, worked favorably for this project.  The new PMC and DSC performed substantially better than their predecessors. However, the delivery of their services was hampered by site constraints, design changes, and delays in finalizing the drawings. In future, a realistic timeframe for consultant recruitment, detailed design development, and civil works contracts, should be ensured during loan preparation and appraisal.

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation
Theme:
Country: India

The financial sustainability analysis conducted at MFF completion showed that there are enough state operating receipts to meet the O&M expenses of the project facilities. Given that the operating institutions did not achieve recovery of the O&M costs as envisaged at appraisal, fiscal transfers from the state and central governments need to continue to ensure the sustainability of the project assets.

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation, Completion and Evaluation
Country: India

The project’s target to have the municipalities adopt the accrual-based accounting system and publish their balance sheets from fiscal year 2015 were only partly achieved.  The target to have semi-autonomous water supply entities prepare and adopt organizational development plans was achieved but with delay.  So was the target to install a more efficient water billing and collection system that materialized only post-project completion. Therefore, it became evident that the reform targets were rather ambitious considering the state’s limited capacity and the local context, including frequent local unrest, which required a longer implementation period.

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation
Country: India

The overlapping implementation periods between project 1 and then-ongoing ADB Loan 2151 and other national programs, and concurrent preparation and appraisal of projects 2 and 3 of the MFF imposed a heavy burden on the ERA.  Exacerbating this burden was the initially weak capacity of project implementation units (PIUs). ADB providing greater implementation support, particularly for the preparation of subsequent tranches, would help address this challenge in future MFFs.  Such support would also help enhance the quality of subsequent tranches of the MFFs and mitigate the risk of implementation delays.

Project Cycle Stage: Implementation
Country: India

Safeguards implementation arrangement in the executing agency (EA) was adequate. A chief engineer was deputed as director of safeguards and supported by four environmental and resettlement experts. Two officers from the state revenue department were posted as land acquisition officers.  These land acquisition officers provided much-needed support to the high-powered committee Divisional Level Committee established by the state government to fast track the implementation of the resettlement plans for subprojects under the project. Creating a land acquisition office in the PMU to manage unavoidable involuntary resettlement may be explored in ongoing and future projects.

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation, Implementation
Country: India

Project 2 was completed with a minimal 3-month delay.  This was attributable to, among other things, the preparation of better detailed designs concurrent with project 1 implementation.

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation
Country: India

At appraisal, this project was classified category A for involuntary resettlement and indigenous peoples and an indigenous peoples’ development framework was prepared to guide the selection and preparation of an additional subproject where impacts on indigenous peoples were identified. During implementation, no indigenous peoples were impacted as none of the two landowners affected by the project’s acquisition of 0.47 hectares of land for resettlement purposes belonged to a scheduled tribe.  Therefore, no additional indigenous peoples safeguards documents such as an indigenous peoples plan needed to be prepared. However, the project was not recategorized B for involuntary resettlement and C for indigenous peoples, which would have highlighted the project’s strong adherence to a key ADB principle to avoid and minimize resettlement impacts.

Project Cycle Stage: Implementation
Country: India

Financial management arrangements of the borrower and executing agency were robust and counterpart funding timely. Separate project financial accounts were maintained and audited by statutory auditors. For FY2008, no APFS or AEFS were submitted. The APFS for FY2018 was rejected as it included a combined audit report for all three projects despite separate reports and opinions being required. These non-compliances could have been avoided had ADB monitored and followed up closely on the submission of the documents.

Project Cycle Stage: Implementation
Country: India

Although the physical scope of the water supply subproject was reduced, its outcome target was overachieved because it increased the beneficiaries to 533,000 people against a target of 380,000 people. This was a major contribution to the MFF target of 2.4 million beneficiaries. Water supply quantity also increased from 80 liters per capita per day (lcpd) to 135 lpcd, meeting the government of India’s national target. These accomplishments demonstrate how being outcome-oriented could lead to better results. Nevertheless, the project could have considered incorporating comprehensive end-to-end solutions, such as 24×7 water supply with well-defined O&M arrangements in construction contracts.  This would have maximized the benefits from the improved water supply systems and enhanced the sustainability of both the project benefits and assets.

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation
Country: India

The assessment of state capacity at appraisal was rather optimistic, encouraging ambitious reform targets and delaying the start of some subprojects under the capacity building and institutional development component.  Partially achieved outputs, including among others the introduction of a computerized system for water billing and collection, updating of municipal database, and introduction of a management information system, were consequently deferred for completion under succeeding tranches. 

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation
Country: India

This project’s completion was delayed by about 61 months.  Major reasons were procurement delays due to limited contractor interest and state capacity, on-and-off public unrest, and the historic 100-year flooding in 2014.  Prolonged consultant recruitment (15 months for the initial PMC and DSC), significantly holding up detailed designs and project startup, replacement and rebidding of poorly performing consulting and works contracts, and slow-moving works contracts also underpinned the completion delay.  In future, a realistic timeframe for all activities within project control should be ensured during preparation.

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation
Country: India

ERA has been headed by senior officers of the state government and this benefited decision making and interdepartmental coordination. It also enjoyed strong state government support, including timely counterpart funding, not least to complete sewerage works after loan closure.  Having ADB-financed projects managed by senior government officials needs to be worked out to the extent possible. (

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation, Implementation
Country: India

Consultant performance under this project was less than satisfactory. The original PMC and one of the DSCs were weak and had difficulty fielding and maintaining experienced staff in the planned positions. Absence was frequent and several senior engineers were replaced, resulting in delayed output delivery. Upon contract completion for the original PMC and one of the DSCs, new consultants were hired and performed substantially better. However, implementation delays continued due to various factors such as site constraints, design changes, and consequent delay in finalizing and issuing technical and as-built drawings. Because of the need for replacements, a total of four consultants were engaged by the project.

Project Cycle Stage: Implementation
Country: India

The construction contract for the STP constructed under this project included 1 year of O&M in addition to a 6-month trial run. After a year, O&M of the STP was handed over to the Urban Environmental Engineering Department.  It might be useful to extend this arrangement to other urban infrastructure works contracts, even if the entities responsible for the O&M of the facilities have enough technical capacities.  Under current state arrangements, the Public Health Engineering Department is responsible for technical O&M of water supply systems, the Housing and Urban Development Department for sewerage systems, and municipal corporations for solid waste facilities. With delayed property connections a frequent problem in ADB-financed sewerage interventions in India, it might also be helpful for ADB to explore requiring the incorporation of an annual implementation and financing plan for house connections in sewerage subproject plans and contracts.  Adherence to the implementation and financing plan should be considered part of contract performance.

Project Cycle Stage: Implementation
Country: India

The Constitution of India mandates that the state allocate to urban local bodies (ULBs) the funds required to maintain their functions and sustain service delivery. The Central Finance Commission transfers accounts for 30%–40% of ULB finances, of which up to 90% may be used for the O&M of municipal assets. The state finance commission likewise supports the O&M of municipal assets through compensation grants and transfers to the municipal corporations. At project completion, state operating revenues appear enough to meet O&M expenses.  Nevertheless, continued payment by municipal corporations of O&M fees for water treatment plants and sewage treatment plants (STPs) would still be necessary for optimal maintenance and sustainability.  

Country: India

Project 1 exceeded its target of laying 180 kilometers of sewerage network (actual: 190 kilometers) and achieved its target on developing one sewage treatment plant with 30 million liters per day capacity.  However, because implementation was delayed by a mis-procured contract and the termination of other nonperforming contracts, it was able to install only 20,000 of its targeted 33,500 house connections.  While the remaining connections were completed in March 2019 with funds provided by the state and project 3 of the program, the shortfall impeded the expeditious realization of the intended benefits. 

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation, Implementation
Country: India

Sufficient support is required for the implementation of multitranche financing facilities (MFFs) in the initial years as this could impose a heavy burden on executing and implementing agencies (EAs/IAs) that need to prepare subsequent tranches while also implementing the first project.

Project Cycle Stage: Implementation
Sector:
Country: India

The executing agency, the Economic Reconstruction Agency (ERA), had a functioning project management unit for another ongoing ADB loan at the time the MFF was approved, and the project loan agreement was signed. Given this, consultant recruitment for project 1 could have proceeded immediately.  But for lack of staff and overload from multiple large projects, ERA did not proceed until after the loan became effective. As a result, it took 15 months to recruit the project management consultant (PMC) and one of the design and supervision consultants (DSCs), delaying project 1 startup. Advance action by ERA to facilitate consultant recruitment, detailed designs, and utility sharing would have helped minimize the startup delay and its knock-on effects on subsequent tranches and the whole investment program.

Project Cycle Stage: Implementation
Country: India

The non-achievement of some GAP targets under could have been avoided if remedial actions were done during the MTR. Specifically, the agreed relegation of the setting up of the nonrevenue water (NRW) task force to the Public Health Engineering Department and the agreed reduction of the target number of women marshals should have been formally documented or reflected in the MTR aide memoire. This lesson underscores the need to regularly monitor the GAP progress to identify unrealistic targets and for the ADB responsible gender officer or assigned consultant to participate in the MTR mission to raise corrective measures.

Project Cycle Stage: Implementation
Country: India

Three covenants related to financial management were not complied with. No APFS and AEFS were submitted for FY 2008. The APFSs for FY2018 were rejected as they included a combined audit report for all three MFF projects despite separate reports and opinions being required. Also, AEFSs for FY 2017 and prior years were combined with APFSs. These non-compliances may have been avoided if ADB monitored and followed up closely on the submissions made in line with the financial loan covenants.

Project Cycle Stage: Implementation
Country: India
Independent Evaluation, ADB
Go back to top