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LESSONS:

Rajasthan Urban Infrastructure Development Project

sector: Water and Other Urban Infrastructure and Services | country: India

Along with consultations related to project formulation and design, consultation with participating towns on cost recovery, tariffs, and user charges is crucial forsustainability.

Advance action on the recruitment of project consultants can help avoid delays.

Acting in advance to begin designs, package bids, and obtain all statutory clearances can help avoid delays. The cell for obtaining statutory approvals and clearances set up in the project management unit (PMU) at a later stage expedited clearances.

Information, education, and communication aimed at changing the behavior of urban residents are necessary to achieve design results.

Involving specialist agencies for specific components�the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage for this project’s heritage component, for example� leads to positive outcomes.

A good project performance monitoring system is essential to avoid ad hoc or delayed decisions. Weekly contractor review meetings, a practice introduced by the Urban Development Department (UDD), can help get past implementation hurdles in a timely manner.

Small investments can have large impacts and make a big difference to people’s lives. Examples from this project include the hospitals in the project cities and the diversion channel for rainwater in Kota.

Including house service connections and door-to-door solid waste collection in the project scope ensures that the assets created will be used effectively.

Providing for price variation in the contracts of private operators reduces project risks and is a fair practice.

Achieving critical mass in the staffing of the PMU and project implementation units (PIUs) and retaining key staff members for the duration of the project are important factors in smooth implementation. A number of engineers involved in the project’s design and familiar with packaging and contract conditions remained with PMU through implementation and greatly facilitated its execution.

Providing awards and incentives to contractors for quality and timely delivery, as done by the UDD, helps foster a spirit of competition and better performance.

Timely induction of counterpart staff and building up their capacity is critical to a successful handover of assets to urban local bodies (ULBs) and line agencies.

Initiating community awareness and participation program (CAPP) activities early on and continuing them beyond the end of the project enhances a project’s effectiveness and sustainability.

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