State governments across India have implemented various schemes for the betterment of their citizens. However, due to lack of awareness, the larger section of the population has not got the chance to take advantage of the welfare schemes on offer. However, India’s Orange City, Nagpur, has been a trendsetter in bringing all its welfare schemes under one roof.
Equi-City, a project launched by the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) and Delhi-based All India Institute of Local Self-Government (AIILSG), is all set to provide equitable civic services to its citizens by February 2017.
The Equi-City project will ensure that civic amenities like water, power, sanitation and sewage management are accessible to all citizens without any discrimination. The project also aims to develop monitoring and accountability tools to empower citizens, helping them demand better services from the local authorities.
AIILSG has planned the project — the first of its kind in the nation — and selected the city for its implementation. AIILSG will execute the project with the help of the European Union (EU). The project will run for four years and is likely to stand as a role model for other cities.
According to an NMC official, the project will help NMC formulate long-term policy and importantly, provide equal civic services to all sections of the population. A source in the civic body told the Council that though NMC has made a budgetary provision for welfare and development of women, children, backward classes and differently-abled people, no system and mechanism exists to evaluate the impact of the funds flowing into these social welfare schemes.
Here, the Equi-City project will make sure that benefits are disbursed in an equal manner. Interestingly, the project will involve no cost to the exchequer, as AIILSG will manage funds from the EU.
In the meantime, the Equi-City Cell has already started collecting data from various departments to assess municipal services. As desired by the NMC, the Equi-City activities focus on sanitation, water supply and Solid Waste Management (SWM).
According to the methodology identified by the Equi-City project team, the first step was data collection from various departments of the NMC. The data collection was aimed to facilitate analysis of the existing level of municipal services, and subsequently to generate indicators and maps to identify various issues facing wards and slums.
Based on the data collected from all zonal offices, various maps are generated on indicators identified; these maps will be used to assess the condition of sanitation and hygiene.
This data has been collected for identifying further indicators regarding sanitation and hygiene conditions (zone-wise). Subsequently, various awareness workshops in each zone will sensitize the citizens of the city. Based on the data collected from all zonal offices, various maps are being generated on identified indicators. These maps will be utilised to assess the condition of sanitation and hygiene levels in each zone, for conducting further activities.
The Equi-City team has collected data from the following NMC departments for equitable delivery of civic services:
Slum Department: Major schemes for economically weaker sections and slum rehabilitation.
Water Works Department: Details of water bodies (location, maps, length, pumping stations, tube-wells, etc.,); per capita supply, present supply and demand.
Health and Sanitation Department: Types of the waste disposed and location of the disposal sites; location and details of landfill sites; other details required for calculating service level benchmarking of SWM.
Fire Department: Location of flood-prone areas in the city; number of times floods have occurred in the city, and their locations.
Garden Department: Total number of gardens, green spaces and parks in the city; AMRUT SLIPs on green spaces and parks.
How the City will Benefit
- Equitable civic services;
- Special schemes for the urban poor, women, children and differently-abled people;
- Corporators, especially women, will get training for handling city governance and service delivery related issues;
- Citizens, especially beneficiaries, will be directly in touch with NMC via forums and committees.