A Lively and Livable Jamnagar March towards Sustainable Growth

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
The pace and form of Urbanization has brought with it myriad problems for Jamnagar Municipal Corporation (JMC). JMC found itself surrounded with problems facing 700,000 of its inhabitants of which a large majority were poor and were disproportionately affected. The problems outpaced the efforts by JMC to address them and resulted in condition of utter chaos for inhabitants and officials of JMC. The major problems surrounding the city were: • Energy inefficient conventional street lighting system • Untreated solid waste and sewage • Rampant open defecation affecting safety, hygiene, dignity of women • Antiquated manual office procedures causing high inefficiency • Dilapidated heritage structures • Lack of open, beautiful public places • Erratic potable water supply The situation JMC found itself was particularly difficult to solve with existing set of templates, processes & mindsets. The problems of today and those waiting in near future were incapable of being solved by yesterday’s ways. This necessitated coming up with innovative approach to solve all of them to improve the life of JMCs 700,000 populace. The beginning point was the opacity of the system and processes at JMC due to manual office procedures. This resulted in lack of transparency and subsequent inefficiency because of different platform for services distributed only at department level. Also, a Static web portal along with non integration between modules meant near absence of E-Governance at JMC. The large amount of solid waste generated along with sewage water was not treated fully and was thrown directly into the sea. This absence of solid waste management coupled with open defecation was severely affecting the quality of marine eco system as well all vehicles collecting garbage, dispensing water and attending complaints of power supply was without central monitoring and electronic surveillance. This meant manual reporting after Completion of their work where there is no way to find out whether work has been done by the vehicles or not. Inefficient Conventional Street Lighting System resulted in extra emissions to the tune of 4000 tonnes of CO2. The absence of proper earthing and improper grouting of poles caused frequent complaints of malfunctioning of lights. The lack of Proper Street light caused safety issues for women in night. Historic city of Jamnagar was fast losing its heritage structures. The increased traffic has led to congestion around the only lake of the city causing a significant rise in the pollution levels causing a constant threat to the migratory birds and a noticeable decline in the lake environs for these birds. All sections of the city were reeling under the urban decay and women and poor were facing the brunt of it. Both these sections of the society i.e. women and poor (stake holders per se) were hitherto excluded from any solution but JMC decided to mainstream solutions with their active participation and making them a important stakeholder in the JMCs efforts to overhaul urban functioning.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
The initiative was a holistic plan to enhance citizens’ satisfaction by efficient delivery of public services by bringing in E-Governance, improving sanitation, hygiene, creating open and beautiful public spaces in the city along with conserving heritage & environment using energy efficient solutions.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
The application of e-Governance to the processes and systems followed at JMC significantly improved quality of citizen service delivery. The anytime, anywhere application was made possible using technology along with real-time tracking bringing in optimal effectiveness and transparency as monitored against a pre-defined service levels. The on-line modules resulted in facilitating secure & instantaneous payment options for the utility bill payments, taxes and statutory fees associated with varied services along with improving revenue collection efficiency of departments. The availability of right information at right time facilitated the decision making process of top management with the help of smart reporting and query tools. The MIS brought in internal efficiency & effectiveness for JMC by automating and optimizing the back office processes while allowing data sharing across different departments and developing integrated knowledge management to bring in efficiency in administration functioning. This educated citizens and enhanced the reach of information for citizens as JMC provided Citizen Charter and created an effective Online Grievance Redress Mechanism. The entire 700000 population of city was negatively affected in absence of a well functioning solid waste management system. The monitoring of solid waste using GPS system resulted in: • Accurate loading and unloading • Better trip planning • Stoppage control • Time keeping • Transparency of work • Timely collection of garbage The untreated waste and sewage was harming the marine eco system of the Jamnagar. This has caused fall in number of migratory birds over the years. The Sewage Treatment Plant built over resulted in: • Promoting safe and environmentally friendly city by ensuring effective treatment and disposal of waste water. • Providing sewerage access to underserved population within municipal area through expansion of sewage collection and treatment capacity. • Protection of marine ecosystem. • Sustainable development by use of recycled water by industries and farmers. • Improvement of riverfront areas and community health • Innovative Financial model where operator would provide premium of Rupees 2 Crores for 13 years through sale of water • Zero discharge concept, with emphasises on re-use and sustained O & M of the plant • Composting of Solid Waste and Waste to Energy • Three Rs promoted with reduction, reuse and recycle The lack of proper street light on entire streets and the existing conventional lighting system was a drain on energy resources along with pain for JMC to maintain and repair. The modern smart lighting using Gujarat’s first fully LED based Street Lighting System lead to promotion of various sustainable development goals (SDG) as it resulted in: • Reduced energy consumption • Lower operating costs • Few maintenance calls • Increased lumens for better illumination • Safety on streets during night for women All these efforts were targeted in a manner to holistically improve the conditions of inhabitants of the Jamnagar city. The initiative brought a sense of pride in the citizens for their city. The symbolism of clean lake and well lit roads in all areas gave a sense of ownership to the marginalized people of the city. The mobile vans for collection of taxes, bills made the life of poor easier by eliminating their travel cost and time wasted in waiting in queues.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The biggest innovation JMC did was to go on in a holistic manner to revitalize the city using solutions for various problems faced by citizens. The creation of an inclusive picture where individual solutions were designed for unrelated problems such as sewage treatment, street lighting, lake conservation, E-Governance framework and all these would fall together resulting in a changed urban landscape for Jamnagar. The JMC was the first corporation in Gujarat to go for complete LED street lighting project and the work order was designed in manner that even maintenance was to be done by the implementing firm of the project and payment was related to the overall satisfactory working of the entire system. The STP was commissioned in a manner that it was to sell water to industries thereby generating revenues and it included reuse and complete recycling of water thus being environment friendly. The revenue model in all the initiatives was the most creatively designed component guaranteeing sustainability.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The Commissioner of Jamnagar Municipal Corporation (JMC) Mr. Harshadkumar Patel [IAS] spearheaded the entire set of initiatives. The Commissioner was able to share his vision for the city first with the officers and officials of the JMC and later using his persuasive leadership style was able to bring on board the elected representatives and involved active Citizen Groups in bringing about a complete makeover of Jamnagar. JMC became the focal point of all these variegated activities targeted at bringing an urban renewal for Jamnagar. The team of corporation was led by its commissioner Mr. Harshadkumar Patel [IAS]. The engineering division, accounts division, sanitation division, water supply division, health division, public relations division were involved under the overall leadership of Commissioner of the corporation to bring about the change. The entire population of the city (700,000) benefitted from clean and beautiful open public spaces such as lake, well lit city using LED street lights, clean surroundings due to better solid waste management and sewage treatment.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
The Commissioner of Jamnagar Municipal Corporation (JMC) Mr. Harshadkumar Patel [IAS] was clear from day one that to bring about such significant revival all stakeholders were to be on board. The strategy in implementing the vision for Jamnagar included predefined roles for all key stakeholders and monitoring their achievement. The approach relied on the fact that different problems were to be solved by different set of peoples for which all were empowered by the commissioner to decide fully for themselves. Help of consultants, architects & PMCs were sought at all steps to bring in professionalism & subject matter expertise along with feedback & suggestions of media, local representatives & NGOs were continually a part of processes. The administrative problems in getting approvals, funds were managed by the commissioner himself. The technical specifications were decided by the engineering division and the elected representatives were the key resource for channeling citizens’ energy in welcoming change rather than obstructing the same. The finances for all the initiatives were derived through all possible channels which included State and Central government funds available for urban local bodies, internal resource mobilization, projects from World bank amongst other sources. The manpower and technical requirements for these initiatives was a key challenge for the JMC. The corporation met the challenge by contracting out the tasks where it did not had the core competency while retaining the overall monitoring and payments post evaluation based on its benchmarks as specified during the contract formulation. The variety of modes used in contracting out included O&M, turnkey projects et.al. The capital outlay varied from about Rupees 150 Crores for STP to about Rupees 4 Crores for E-Governance initiatives and Rupees 23 Crores for street lighting system. The break up for key projects is given below: • E-Governance: Implementation cost for IT activities is 3,89,00,243.00 in Indian Rupees. (Approximately, 0.6 million US Dollars). This includes, hardware, software development, and Consultancy charges, Blade Servers, storage devices, network devices, routers, switches, and firewall, desktop computers, laptop Computers, UPS, Printers, Scanners, Software development and handling charges. • Sewage Treatment Plant: Total cost of the project is Rs. 14,898.00 Lakhs. Total Pipeline work of 90 Kms for a 70MLD Sewage Treatment plant. • Street lighting system: Indian Rupees 18.25 Crores for installation of 29787 street lights, CCMS panels, CCMS system, etc. • Infrastructure up gradation : Indian Rupees 4.45 Crores in installation of new poles, MCBs, junction boxes, new central lights in peripheral regions and newly developed roads • The Ranmal Lake revitalization and Khambhalia Gate restoration project present a “Business Case” wherein it amply demonstrates how resources can be mobilized to meet O & M Costs sustainably, for example, revenues raised from entry gates, musical fountains, museum, food shops etc are Rs. 2.12 Crores against the maintenance costs of Rs. 2.09 Crores for a period of Feb-16 to Dec-16. • Not only that the Ranmal Lake has proved a happening place but also made people and particularly, women more health-conscious and increased happiness levels due to enhanced safe and enjoyable precincts. On an average 4500 people visit daily and 2500 persons walk/jog on the synthetic jogging track constructed in the periphery of the lake.(SDG Goal 3,5,11) • The STP Project demonstrates how JMC will be saving O & M Costs over a period of 15 years and will get extra premium of Rs. 2 Crores annually by selling of recycled water.(SDG Goal 6,14,15)

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
JMC like all urban local bodies works with a state government appointed administrative head as commissioner who is a senior IAS officer and an elected Mayor along with other elected representatives forming various committees. The Commissioner is assisted by senior officers of the corporation from engineering, accounts, and finance divisions. The most important contribution is of the commissioner for he is the one responsible for the overall planning, coordination and thus takes all responsibility and overall ownership of all the initiatives whether successful or not. Mr. Harshadkumar Patel (IAS) was the commissioner of the corporation under whose leadership the JMC changed itself from a moribund urban local body into a vibrant institution of local self governance. The leadership style of Mr. Patel contributed immensely to the success of all the projects for he could foresee the potential bottlenecks and thus act in time to save the projects from significant cost and time overruns. The Commissioner would plan in detail and come up with innovative financial models such as long term purchase agreement for recycled water. The other officials of JMC contributed in ensuring progress of work on time through regular monitoring. The elected body was useful for it could share the vision of the commissioner and communicate the same to the local population who otherwise would have objected to change out of habit rather than the potential of it to be of any use to them. The other significant contribution was of the citizens of the city who bought and owned fully the idea of a lively and livable Jamnagar and supported the JMC fully during the periods of change.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
The thrust of JMC from beginning was on advancing the city’s journey towards SDGs. The various outputs of initiatives bear testimony to the success of the JMC in advancing the journey of around 700,000 peoples towards a world which is sustainable, inclusive and equitable. The example includes: • LED street lighting system: The street lighting system was the first fully LED Street lighting system in the state of Gujarat. This system resulted in savings of about 4000 tonnes of CO2 emissions. The initiative set an example for taking urgent action to combat climate change.(SDG 13) • Open Defecation Free Jamnagar: JMC became the first municipal corporation in the state to be declared open defecation free. The most important outcome of the effort was the enhanced safety of women and girls who were routinely harassed while performing daily ablutions outside. The task of achieving gender equality and making cities safe and inclusive was achieved through ensuring end of open defecation.(SDG 5, SDG 11) • Revitalization of heritage structure and lake: The only lake of the city was lying in a neglected state and heritage structures were getting weaker with every passing day. The revitalization of lake and restoration of the heritage structure using traditional lime based techniques while maintain the old heritage look had created a template for other cities to reclaim open public places. The revitalized lake brought in the missing balance in the natural ecosystem of the city. ( SDG 13, SDG 15) • STP: The untreated water of such a large population was finding its way into the sea and damaging the terrestrial ecosystem. The result was the drop in migratory birds that frequented the Jamnagar otherwise. The Marine National Park (Coral Reefs) ecosystem was badly affected in absence of treatment and the increasing pollution in sea caused health hazards for people on the land and living in the vicinity of the sea while continuously damaging the marine ecosystem. The STP put an end to this and ensured that the city lives a healthy and fulfilling life while protecting the natural setting. (SDG 15, SDG 14, SDG 13, SDG 6) • E-Governance: The path using technology to usher in modern IT based, transparent and efficient system and processes removed indiscriminate discretion and made system more open and resulted in enhanced trust in the eyes of the citizens. The institution JMC regained credibility using these processes. (SDG 16)

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
The administrative and political setting of the corporation was the biggest obstacle in this process. Years of apathetic administration had resulted in urban decay and creation of vested interests where any systematic improvement in processes using E-Governance was seen as a personal attack on the individuals operating the nexus. The lack of action has brought the employee morale down over the years. This caused initial inertia internally from the officers and staff at JMC. Also the corporation had severe capacity constraints in having skilled human resources at its disposal for the big reforms. Also, the insufficient motivation of government staff and residents to care for urban infrastructures by collaboration between the government and residents since they had strong notion that maintenance of urban infrastructures does not relate to them thus this lack of ownership caused further problems. The situation was remedied by the proactive role played by the commissioner Mr. Harshadkumar Patel in rekindling the lost consciousness and pride of association with the city and the corporation. The employee morale improved seeing the leader work hard and with right intention. The reward and punishments for performers and non-performers made employee realize their worth again. The most significant part was to communicate a feeling of dreaming big and creating that feeling in the citizens that their city can do better and it deserved better made all the difference. The lack of capacity in implementation of projects was met by using well drafted contracts for services and expertise.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
The change to E-Governance based applications had a considerable impact on the ease with which citizens could access JMC services. The availability of e services along with mobile vans for bill, tax collection made the life of poor easier and brought the services closer to the common public. The use of social media by the corporation has enhanced the citizen engagement to the next level. Jamnagar Municipal Corporation website has received 522783 hits, 5000 birth Certificate download, 1300 death Certificate download, 1997 Shop Certificate download, 7000 Complaint registration and there is a frequent increase of transactions for other online services, which proves Citizen Connection with online medium of municipal services. The drive to eliminate open defecation by building toilets using corporation assistance caused significant improvement in violence against women. The toilets brought dignity back to the women of the city and resulted in improved status of health. The LED street lighting system brought light into the locations of poor population which were underserved with conventional lighting system. Also it saved 400 tonnes of CO2 emissions thus contributing to reduced costs on one hand and environment protection on other. GPS installation caused JMC's Accuracy in the Vehicle Operations significantly. The monitoring of D2D garbage collection route coverage became easy and reduced unauthorised or unnecessary garbage trips. e.g a tractor’s trip was reduced to 3 from 4 ones a day for same amount of work or improved tonnage. The STP will increase availability of water by providing recycled water to nearby industries. Due to better management and implementation of water supply schemes, for the first time in the history of JMC all citizens were supplied water daily. This assured supply of water caused decreased usage of water for the certainty in supply stopped people stocking more water than required and then throwing it the next day.  Other initiatives which are also being implemented by JMC in PPP mode, demonstrate how innovative models can be arrived at through creatively designed projects. • The purified biogas project under implementation by JMC in PPP mode by providing seed money (soft Loan) will also provide economical and environment-friendly solution to treat bio- waste and generate purified bio-gas. (SDG Goal 7,9) • JMC’s Waste to Energy project will also provides a long lasting solution to treat municipal solid waste safely and to generate resources out of waste. The proposed 5 MW/Day Plant will provide for 270 tonnes of solid wastes generated daily, which otherwise can prove a bane to the city. The project can also save the city from ground water, air and land pollution which is rampant at present.(Goal 13) • Centralized Kitchen project undertaken by JMC with AKSHAY PATRA foundation, an NGO working in the field of providing hot, cooked, nutritious and timely food in place of existing Mid Day Meal Schemes in the schools will lead to better nutrition levels and higher attendance and will prove to be financially more viable and more satisfying project based on the experiences of other cities.(SDG Goal 2)

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
The E-Governance thrust of JMC was to usher in an era of open governance making the processes transparent and bringing in accountability for the service providers. This was achieved through fixing service delivery time lines and creating a citizen charter where any deviation in the defined service level quality or time could be brought up using the online grievance redress mechanism of the JMC. The use of technology eliminated undesirable secrecy and discretion and improved performance of the officials along with making it easier for people to access the services of the corporation. This adoption of technology made checked corruption and improved public image of the JMC. The active social media engagement brought many complaints to the fore and thus further improved the accountability and integrity of the corporation. The presence of elected representatives in the daily working of the corporation keeps the officials in check. Also, the use of disciplinary procedures by the commissioner of the corporation to rectify delinquent behavior of the officers caused significant improvement in the integrity levels of the staff.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
An interesting offshoot of lighting the entire city with good LED bulbs was a significant reduction in crimes against women in the night time. Also coupled with building of toilets to eliminate open defecation in the city further reduced the possible incidences of rape, molestation against women. The well lit roads helped the most vulnerable earn their living by continuing with professions such as rickshaw pulling, street vending late in night due to improved visibility and subsequent feeling of security. Restoration of heritage site Ranmal Lake along with installation of cameras and proper lighting made the site safe for the most vulnerable section of population which includes women, elderly, and children. STP & UGD network has significantly helped in improving health & sanitation situation which directly affected poor & women.

Contact Information

Institution Type:   Local Government  
Telephone/ Fax:   02782428822
Institution's / Project's Website:  
E-mail:   collector-bav@gujarat.gov.in  
Postal Code:   364001
State/Province:   GUJARAT

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