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India: Kolkata Environmental Improvement Project - 2011
Kolkata Municipality, with a population of 4.5 million people, is the most densely populated inner core area of the Kolkata Metropolitan Area. The project aimed to enhance the quality of life of the people of Kolkata Municipality by improving the urban environment and providing equitable access to municipal services, especially by the poor.
The objectives of the project were to:
- improve the environment in the outer areas of Kolkata,
- reduce poverty in the low-income areas through access to basic urban services,
- facilitate community empowerment through participatory processes,
- protect the environment from adverse development, and
- help develop Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) into a proficient and autonomous municipality.
Specifically, the project sought to improve sewerage and drainage, solid waste management, the slums, and the canals. The non-technical development processes employed to achieve these results included stakeholder consultations, implementation assistance for and capacity building of the KMC, and the development of a policy and institutional framework to sustain project investments.
Development Aims and Impacts:
- Involving women and other vulnerable groups in planning and implementation results in a resettlement program that is gender- and socially inclusive.
- Awarding titles to new flats to women and prioritizing them and other vulnerable groups in awarding ground floor flats that have opportunities for small businesses, empowers these vulnerable groups and stresses their importance in poverty alleviation.
- Establishing mechanisms for women’s participation in neighborhood committees and housing cooperative societies leads to more sustainable practices in maintaining the buildings and other assets in the resettlement sites.
- Providing livelihood training and opportunities to women and men is a crucial aspect of resettlement, as it empowers them to address their poverty and sustain development initiatives.
- Encouraging women’s participation in decision-making mechanisms, such as self-help groups, neighborhood committees, housing cooperative societies, and wards, results in more inclusive and sustainable development practices.
- Poverty reduction through targeted and gender- and socially inclusive programs
- Community empowerment through participatory and transparent processes
This case study is part of an ADB publication titled Gender Mainstreaming Case Studies: India that provide an overview of gender issues in selected sectors of developing member countries.