The KUSP is one of the newest additions to Department for International Development’s (DFID) continuing endeavor to reduce urban poverty in India.
The current project in West Bengal has been finalized on 8th May’ 03 by a letter of Charlotte Seymour- Smith, the Minister (Development) and Head, DFID India, to Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, confirming the UK Government’s allocation of funds vis-à-vis the KUSP program.
The grant was made on the basis of Project concept note being jointly developed by Government of West Bengal and Government of India in 2001.
KUSP envisages to improve the livelihood status of urban poor by appraising different sectors in a structured manner. Some important aspects are specified below:
Social Development – Strengthen policy framework for informal settlements, institutionalise pro-poor planning, develop framework for poverty monitoring, develop uniform procedures and capacity of ULB functionaries, Consolidate BPL surveys, empower the poor through neighbourhood groups.
Governance – Capacity building of ULBs and facilitators like DLB, ILGUS, SUDA, MED, WBVB, networking of stakeholder agencies.
Economic and Finance – Facilitate policy changes for revenue enhancement of ULBs and better accounting and financial systems, self-sufficiency of The ULBs , maximum benefits for the poor.
Enterprise Development – Develop sustainable and cost-effective strategies to evaluate the citizens’ needs in general and in particular for encouraging enterpreunership; market integration linkages, Identify the job oriented informal and manufacturing sectors for the
Poor especially women; SCs; minorities and slum dwellers, participation of local private sector to improve civic services.
Environment – Prepare strategic environmental plan for the KMA and ULBs, include environmental considerations into planning at municipal and trans-municipal levels, preparation of a simple but cross-sectoral ‘state of the environment’ report and ensuring that ULBs have the skills and resources necessary to plan and manage the urban environment.
Water Supply – Improve efficiency of distribution and rehabilitate water supply infrastructure.
New Barrackpore Municipality already implemented and executed the following works under KUSP Programme :
i) Accrual based Double Entry Accounting System
iii) Preparation of Draft Development Plan (DDP) & finally Development Plan (DP).
iv) Development of Slum areas according to Development Plan
v) Urban infrastructure development according to Development Plan.
i) Double entry accounting system started on 1st April 2004. At present the Double Entry Accounting System is running through software and the entire Accounts division has been computerized through structured LAN in this ULB.
ii)e-Governance: Apart from Computerization of the entire Administrative system, e-Governance module of “Birth & Death Registration” system implemented on 2nd March, 2010.
iii)DDP: Section 297 of the West Bengal Municipal Act, 1993 & its subsequent amendments requires Municipality in the State to prepare a Draft Development Plan for the Municipal areas covering a period of five years and addressing a range of Municipal functions as laid down in Sub- Section (2) of Section 297 of the Act.
The Concept of integrated development planning has been encapsulated in the WB Municipal Act which also outlines the contents and identifies the institutions responsible for preparing such plans.
It has been emphasized that DDPs should set out a broad Municipal level vision and lay down action plans to address key issues in different areas of planning e.g. infrastructure and environment development, social and livelihood development and municipal institutional strengthening.
The New Barrackpore Municipality is a small one with 6.89 square kms in area and 83183 persons (according to 2001 census). It has only 20 Wards.
As a legal requirement and to ensure that the quality of life for its Citizens’ is improved through the provision of basic services, promotion of democratic governance and eradication of poverty this ULB has tried its best to prepare a Draft Development plan.
In preparing this “first generation” DDP we humbly admit that there are imperfections in the overall development plans in relation to thematic integration of various action plans, and linkages between the proposed development plan and the overall resource availability.
Further gaps are likely to exist in various socio-economic and infrastructure data sets which may not be entirely addressed through the various surveys.
In preparing the DDP this ULB has followed all due processes of participation. The important features in the process, inter-alia, include participation by and consultation with the widest range of Stakeholders and explicit attempts to assess socio- economic needs, especially of the poorer groups.
The DDP Launch workshop was organized by the ULB on 29th July, 2005 which was attended by participants from all strata of the Society. Wide publicity was made for the purpose. Subsequent to the Launch workshop we organized 39nos. Orientation and sensitization workshops at Ward levels, between 8th August 2005 to 29th October,2005.to roll-out participation at the Ward level. In fact, two such workshops were held, in each Ward, Awareness campaign in the Municipal area was organized through meetings, wall writing and posters.
Two nos. planning workshops were held on 16.8.2005 and 22.8.2005 which were attended among others by the experts and resource persons from CMU. We invited comments from Citizens on problems facing them on each Sub- component. A questionnaire was sent to them (Appendix 1).
This ULB also conducted a household Socio- economic Survey in prescribed format (Appendix 2). We received 17036 Survey reports. All the reports were analyzed and computerized both at Ward wise and at Municipal level. The deficiencies were identified.
Workshops were held for formulation of Municipal Vision and finalization of Development Objectives for each component. Municipal Vision and Development objective for each component were approved by the Board of Councilors in its meetings held on 21.9.2005 and 30.9.2005 respectively.
From different Surveys, workshops and Citizens’ feed back we have devised score cards for prioritization issues at the municipal level for different components (Appendix 3 collectively). It has been revealed that in Component 1 Water Supply, Drainage and Roads are three most problematic areas of this Municipality. To improve situation technical expertise is necessary. We engaged a consultancy Technical Firm to assess the situation with the approval of CMU. They made an in depth study and submitted a report. We incorporated their suggestions, as far as practicable in our DDP.
As regards Environment plan (sub-component 1.4) we have taken note of the recommendations made by the consultant selected by the CMU.
This Municipality has 35 slums inhabited by 37961, out of which 3 slums, fall on Service Lands. Three (3) slums have already been upgraded from the SLIF made available by KUSP. Another one is going to be upgraded in this financial year 2005-06. Mention may be made that QSS was made by this ULB earlier with financial and technical assistance from CMU. In the preparation of DDP we have accepted the QSS.
With the financial assistance from CMU under KUSP Programme we have already executed and are in the process of execution some schemes related to Social and Livelihood Development (component 2) as intervention to DDP in the field of Local Economic Development.
These are i) Construction of Canteen to be run by SHG, ii) intervention in segment of rickshaw / van pulling and iii) intervention in the segment of foam bag manufacturing. This Municipality has no Primary School under its control. All the schools are under the District Primary School Council. We have the distinction of having 97% literacy rate. We have the goal to bring all school going children to schools and to attain 100% literacy rate during this plan period by throwing emphasis on establishment of more continued education centres and increase the level of community participation in motivating adults to join these programmes.
With regard to Municipal Institution Strengthening i.e. Component 3 we have already crossed some milestones. We have successfully achieved the short term and mid term OD Action plan implemented under KUSP project. Some of the long term issues have also been solved. One of the development activities undertaken was the introduction & implementation of GIS with the assistance of KMDA. Other measures introduced were on-line (intranet) Tax Collection and a Wireless VPN Networking system within the Municipal Area for collection of Tax. This Municipality takes particular pride in the case of ‘Citizens Interface’ being the fast amongst all ULBs to enacting a ‘Citizens Charter’ to ensure more effective and quicker services for the Citizens as well as to make administration transparent. Our goal in the next five (5) years would be to consolidate the gains already achieved and to extend to all the fruits of integrated development.
The DDP has gone through the Public Validation exercise and has been approved by the Board of Councillors in its meeting held on 25.09.2006.
We put on record our deep appreciation of the cooperation generously given us by CMU, KMDA, SUDA, and ILGUS.
While preparing our plans for DDP 2007-12, vision 2025 was always kept in view and as such those are in conformity with the same.
Pursuant to the requirements of the West Bengal Municipal Act, 1993, The West Bengal Metropolitan Planning Committee Act, 1994, the West Bengal District Planning Committee Act, 1994, and also pursuant to the requirements of the KUSP programme we submit our DDP document with all its annexes to the KMPC for their approval.
The Draft Development Plan (DDP) would consider all the settlements within municipalities and cater to the rehabilitation and service needs of the people living therein.
This ULB has prepared a five-year (2007-12) Draft Development Plan and put up their recommendations, including proposals for funding to the KMPC.