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Title of Best Practice:

Reforming Agra by Re-imagining through Slum Up-gradation
State/City: Uttar Pradesh - Agra BP Code: UPY-##-07-2854-0511 Previous Status
Agra is a global tourist destination, offering huge potential for developing a strong and broad-based tourism-centric economy. Roadblocks to realizing this potential are the city’s poor sanitary conditions and unplanned developments that have inhibited the realization of its development prospects. The situation is exacerbated by high concentrations of slum and low-income settlements and lack of concerted action to improve their environmental conditions on a citywide scale, making Agra both tourist and people-unfriendly. Poor living conditions characterize the 252 notified and 178 non-notified slums in Agra that contain over half the city’s population. Slum population in 2001 estimated at 0.5 million has risen to 0.8 million by 2011 in these 430 slum-like settlements. While all of Agra is poorly served, slums in particular are unconnected to the most basic of sanitation and municipal services with abysmal infrastructure. Policy on services to slums has vacillated between indifference and repression resulting in open/overflowing drains suffocated with unconfined excreta and solid waste, stagnant waste water, rampant open defecation and indiscriminate waste disposal. Not surprising that Agra scored just 37% in the last sanitation survey and was a first generation city for renewal under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). Slum dwellers live in the shadow of city’s lesser-known monuments. They do not derive any income from their tourism and are obviously un-inclined to conserve their heritage resulting in poor sanitation conditions of these sites. Slum women and youth are mostly informally employed, and work in exploitative conditions that contribute to both family and city poverty. Regional Excellence (CURE), with financial assistance from Cities Alliance. This project is backed up by a slum upgrading initiative in the city, the Crosscutting Agra Programme (CAP) funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Goals of the project
CSUP aims at preparing a Reform-linked Citywide Slum Upgrading Plan for Agra with local capacities to design and implement slum upgrading on a citywide scale. Specifically, it intends to create an enabling environment for urban poverty reduction with sector reforms that shall contribute to making Agra slum free.

Implementation Strategies
The strategy for creating a Slum Free Agra Plan project is inclusive, participatory and integrated. It is aimed at engaging all slum communities in the city in a bottom-up and sustainable, planning and implementation process that shall improve their access to urban basic services and mainstream them with city systems with last-mile connections; physically, economically and socially. Consultations, particularly with women and young people, are designed to identify slum problems and customize solutions by attending to the tiniest details, listening to people and taking local action. Slum and Ward level committees are being facilitated and will be federated, with institutionalized mechanisms for voice and compact and with a view to restructure the conventional urban planning and governance paradigm. Local capacities are being built to implement the plan to make Agra slum free. Partnerships are being forged between people’s organizations, local implementing agencies and the private sector for coordinated action. An enabling environment for slum development is being created through appropriate policy and administrative reforms, structural modifications and unlocking available resources under various government programmes.

The New Approach
Citywide Slum Upgrading Project (CSUP) is an Agra Nagar Nigam (ANN) project implemented in association with Center for Urban and National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), New Delhi |

P E A R L Activities implemented Activities under the project have been focused on preparation of Slum, Ward and City plans through community engagement. Geo-spatial and socio-economic information has been generated for a better understanding of issues and plan preparation. CURE has mapped all city slums with spatial boundaries and has digitized these on a city base map using Geographical Information System (GIS). Total Station Surveys of each settlement integrated with the GIS provide information on slum contours, topography, services and networks, land uses and housing typologies etc. Trunk infrastructure maps are overlaid on slum maps to determine last-mile solutions. Housing typology, land tenure and tenability status studies have helped understand land-based challenges in in-situ development with housing.

Figure 35: Total Station Surveyed in Slum Settlements 

Slum action plans are developed through street and community meetings that involve all groups. These are consolidated into ward plans with intra community groups discussing crosscutting issues. Slums have been upgraded with toilets – at home, community and in schools. Communities have participated in the design, construction, operations management and oversight of toilets. A Toilet Savings Group enabled women to save-up for home toilets with matching/upfront contribution from project funds for a functional unit (pan, plumbing, septic tank). Toilets were customized to home

spaces - inside rooms, courtyards, terraces, etc. with technical innovations to minimize damage to standing structures. Toilets were designed so these could be built incrementally. Low-budget options were created using local material. An improved septic tank was connected to open/improved street drains to carry overflows to outfall points as there were no underground sewers. A local manufacturer agreed to modify/ strengthen septic tanks and provide technical support for toilet construction in a market-based enterprise model. A Community Credit Fund; a revolving fund was set up using a small corpus from project and private sector funding, to enable households to

| National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), New Delhi

P E A R L get matching contributions /pay for their share in toilet costs, with provision to return in small sums/as able to pay. A critical mass of houses with toilets has signaled the start of Swatch Gallis in the area. 1000 toilets have been sanctioned by District Urban Development Agency (DUDA) for households with missing toilets to move Kachhpura towards being the first open-free defecation settlement in Agra. The local school was also provided two, fully funded toilets, one each for girls and boys and hygiene sessions were incorporated on appropriate toilet use and hand washing practice.

To treat the gray water from toilets that fell into the large city drain passing by the settlement, a Decentralized Waste Water Treatment System (DEWAT) was built. It treats through anaerobic processes the septic tank and waste water outflows, both from Kachhpura and upstream flows, bringing Biochemical Oxygen Demand levels to acceptable standards. Upgrading of Kuchpura has brought the Ward to the attention of the State, which has included it within its state development initiatives for building the roads, drains; water supply etc..

Figure 36: Slum Upgrading – Toilets at Home 

Micro enterprise groups were organized and assisted through private sector links to prepare products linked to tourism (hotel bags, shoe covers, plate covers and souvenirs) with business plans and resources to make the enterprises sustainable. A Mughal Heritage Walk was conceived /developed as a walking loop around the settlement and its lesserknown monuments to create a unique community tourism experience. It is being offered on tours and is generating decent incomes for tour facilitators, women and youth in the area.

Challenges / Constraints Encountered
Administrative procedures and limited local capacity have been two key constraints in the implementation of the project. Rules, across various agencies, have been difficult to navigate such as those related to development restriction in buffer zones of monuments. Several discussions have been held at all levels with concerned agencies to pursue simplification and easing of rigidities. Weak capacity (financial, technical) within the local bodies has demanded considerable handholding, much beyond the project scope, but

National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), New Delhi |

P E A R L has been useful in strengthening the partnerships. Powers have not yet been fully decentralized from the State to the City and affecting the speed and nature of decision making. There is also a lack of coordination across key local agencies responsible for slum upgrading. However, over the length of the project period, and under the JNNURM umbrella, there is now greater willingness among local partners for synergy.

Achievements and Results
Key factors in the success of the project have been the partnership with ANN and more recently, DUDA, that helped create new linkages under the project. * 118 private toilets have been built in the slums. An additional 2745 have been constructed/ approved by DUDA. The city is on its way to having the first ‘open-defecation free’ settlement. It has the first functional DEWAT in the city/state. Family health is better and health care expenses have dropped by ` 600 per month due to home toilets. Income levels of slum families in the project have improved from nil to about ` 150 per day and are fully sustainable.

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Outcome of the Project
The partnership with ANN and DUDA, have helped the project to gain its main velocity. The presence and support of the two agencies have helped create new linkages under the project. The continuity of the project in 2 phases with financing arrangements has helped to consolidate the early interventions and to create the enabling environment for sustainability. Donor /partner agency inputs have added to the knowledge curve. The Project has had impacts at both the slum and city level. At the slum level besides improving access to basic services, the settlements are now mainstreamed with city systems and the local economy. Improved access to basic services has resulted in a cleaner environment due to a greater willingness among residents to maintain community infrastructure/resources. Livelihood interventions have ensured sustainable and enhanced incomes for women and youth. For the four communities and approximately 1800 households covered under the first phase of slum upgrading, the process has been “empowering”, with communities organized and capacitated to articulate their needs and negotiate with local government for their rights and with sustainable reduction in poverty. At the city level, the project has helped generate a spatial database with analysis that is contributing to the development of a Slum Free Agra Plan. CAP has successfully forged multi-stakeholder partnerships between government agencies, private sector and civil society. Critical capacity has been built within ANN and DUDA to facilitate pro-poor urban development. Agra civil society is more cooperative and engaged in positive dialogue. Over time civil society engagement has been deepened with several new partners. * *

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Sustainability
The project is fully sustainable because of the following reasons.

 
* The Communities are organized and empowered and are becoming more aware of their rights The close partnership with ANN and more recently, DUDA has not only supported the project implementation but has created significant capacity within the agencies to replicate the products under the project. This was evident in the scaling up of the private toilet programme and plans for development of more DEWATs. Demonstration on the ground of upgrading initiatives that have followed a comprehensive approach that resonate with the needs of people has been crucial for project sustainability. The continuity of the project (2 phases) with financing arrangements has helped to consolidate the early interventions and to create the enabling environment for sustainability. Partnerships with the private sector and embedding the livelihood initiatives within the local economy of the city have ensured their sustainability.

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Impact of the Project
* A citywide slum upgrading plan is being prepared drawing lessons from the upgrading project. Slum and Ward Development Plans for networking slums

| National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), New Delhi

P E A R L to toilets and sewer systems are being prepared; Interactions have been broad and include a range of partners; local agencies including those that may not be directly connected to slum development, elected representatives, area officials, local agencies, market associations, industry, All project slums get municipal tap water in 24x7, legal connections and toilets with sewerage or intermediate treatment systems; Community hand pumps/stand posts repaired/ increased for the poorest in the project areas; City allocates 2.5 million US Dollars for upgrading/ rehabilitating community toilets State Tourism Department Owns Tourism Walks and proposes to invest funds to enrich the community based tourism experience Private sector (Tourism Guild) supports the community-based-sustainable business model due to its market based appeal Mughal Heritage Walk provides livelihoods from tour animation, souvenirs, tea services, guest facilities Proceeds of tours go into a Community Development Fund that has been used by the community to improve services in the area * Has contributed to upgrading, monument restoration, revival of art forms

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Replicability
The project is fully replicable in all cities and of all scales. It provides ground level demonstration/evidence of community processes, slum upgrading activities, citycommunity compact, participatory planning and implementation, administrative reform, etc. which can be seen and transported to other areas. It also provides experience of implementing activities at a city scale. Preconditions for replicability in other cities shall be: willingness of Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) to have a knowledge curve and provide support to slum development through policy /administrative decisions, choosing appropriate agencies with experience of implementing slum upgrading activities and willingness to work closely with and support them in citywide slum development. Project shall need resources for implementation of slum upgrading activities. The Mughal Heritage Walk and communitybased tourism project in Agra is being replicated in two project sites in Agra; Sikandara and Barara. It is also being broadened and deepened in Kachhpura in partnership with UP Tourism.

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Figure 37: Construction of Roads and bye lanes 

National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), New Delhi |

P E A R L

Recognition
CURE’s initiative in Agra was recognized in 2008 as a Good Practice by UN Habitat – Dubai Municipality Awards and as a Best Practice by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievance, Government of India. It has also been shortlisted for the National Urban Water Awards (NUWA), 2011 by the Ministry of Urban Development.

Besides the above, it has been shared and disseminated at various workshops, seminars, training programmes, both nationally and internationally at the Metropolis Commission Meeting in Barcelona and Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

Contact for Details:
Dr. Renu Khosla Director Centre for Urban and Regional Excellence 302, Building No-3, Sona Apartments, Kaushalya Park, Hauz Khas, New Delhi 110016 Office: +91-11-40755900; +91-11-2696 9478 Sh. Manish Kumar Project Contact Person CAP Office, Room No 313, IInd Floor, Agra Municipal Corporation, UP - 282002 E-mail: info@cureindia.org

| National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), New Delhi

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