Urban Scenario

Guwahati City is located in Kamrup District of Assam State and is situated on the banks of River Brahmaputra with its cardinal points as 26010’ North and 92049’ E. The city is situated on an undulating plain with varying altitudes of 49.5m to 55.5m above Mean Sea Level (MSL).The southern and eastern sides of the city are surrounded by hillocks. Apart from the hilly tracts, swamps, marshes, water bodies like DeeparBeel, Silpukhuri, DighaliPukhuri, BorsolaBeel and SilsakooBeel etc. also cover the city.
Guwahati is said to be the legendary Pragjyotishpur, the City of Eastern Light. The City has a rich historical past and finds frequent mention in the medieval historical sources and also in Mahabharata, Ramayana and Raghuvansham of Kalidas. In 640 AD, the famous Chinese traveler HuenTsung visited the city. The emergence of modern Guwahati started in 1826. The town was connected by railway line with rest of India in 1890.
Guwahati experienced phenomenal growth after independence of the country following the establishment of major institutions of higher education like Guwahati University, Engineering College and Medical College. The Guwahati Oil Refinery was established in 1961. In 1972, after the reorganization of the Assam State, the capital was shifted from Shillong to Dispur (Guwahati), whereby the city gained enough political importance. Since then the city has grown enormously in terms of population and development of commercial activities.
Guwahati is easily accessible by air, rail and road. Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati City is a modern airport and most airlines have daily flights from all metros across India via Delhi and Kolkata. In addition, it also has regular connectivity with South-East Asia with twice a week flights connecting Bangkok with the region. Guwahati once was well connected to Kolkata by a regular steamer service through river Brahmaputra. This route however, has been virtually closed after partition of the country. Guwahati is touched upon by several National Highways (NH31, NH37 and NH40). NH31 and NH37 connect the place with the North-Western states of India and NH 40 and other State highways connect the City with the rest of North-Eastern States.
The average temperature of Guwahati City is 31.50 C in summer season and 12.5 C0 in winter. The monsoon brings heavy rains. The city has four well-defined seasons - summer, monsoon, winter and spring. Winter season is from October to March and spring starts from April.
Existing Situation The Water Supply & Sewerage facilities in Guwahati City are not adequate. Most of the areas of that part of the south east Guwahati are not covered by piped water supply scheme. The quantity of water supplied in the subproject area by piped water supply scheme is only 2.8 MLD against present water demand of 47 MLD. Only a small part (5%) of area on southern part is served by piped water supply schemes. Existing supply caters mostly institutional area near State Secretariat Complex. Households in the south east Guwahati area depend on tube wells, ring wells, tanker supply, etc.
In Guwahati, the household wastewater is directly discharged to the storm water drains, which ultimately discharges into the Brahmaputra River, causing pollution to river water pollution and unsanitary condition of the area.
Similarly, the Drainage system and Solid Waste Management in Dibrugarh needs urgent planning and infrastructural intervention to meet the minimum sanitation needs of the people.
The Assam Urban Infrastructure Investment Program (AUIIP) aims to address to bring improvement to the existing infrastructures in these cities for a quality living and healthy environment.
The proposed Multi-tranche Financing Facility (MFF) of ADB will finance a portion of the urban infrastructure initiatives of the Government of Assam for the cities of Guwahati and Dibrugarh. It will improve the urban services in these cities by improving water supply, sanitation, solid waste management, drainage infrastructure, and urban transport to the standards set by the State.
Assam is the gateway for developing India’s northeast because of its strategic position and relatively large population of 31.17 million.
Currently, only 30% of the 1.0 million residents of Guwahati city, the capital of Assam, have piped water, the rest depending on wells and water vendors who charge high rates. The city is divided into four water supply zones. Water supply Projects in the north and south-central zones are financed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). In south Guwahati, water supply in the west zone is financed under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). The proposed Asian Development Bank (ADB) assistance is for the southeast zone. Guwahati also needs a sewerage treatment plant and network to treat the incremental wastewater that will be generated by the water supply subprojects. Rapid urbanization combined with increased vehicular traffic, a deteriorating road network, poor traffic management, and the lack of an efficient, reliable, and safe public transport system cause air pollution and increased road accidents, impeding Guwahati’s economic development. The Guwahati Development Department (GDD) of the Government of Assam is developing plans for a more sustainable and reliable mass transport system. In Dibrugarh, inadequate SWM and the indiscriminate dumping of waste leave the drainage system severely polluted, choked, and prone to severe local flooding during the rainy season.
Road map for achieving service level targets ADB helped the Government of Assam to formulate a sector assessment to serve as a road map for 2011–2021 toward meeting national and state targets for water supply, sewerage, and SWM in Guwahati and Dibrugarh and urban transport in Guwahati.
The key findings are as follows:

  • The investment for water supply, sewerage, and SWM infrastructure is estimated to cost Rs33 billion by 2021 and incur annual operation and maintenance (O&M) costs of Rs1.6 billion upon completion.
  • To create a sustainable environment for investment, it is necessary8 for Guwahati and Dibrugarh urban local bodies (ULBs) to (a) formulate and adopt policies on user charges and subsidies, (b) establish separate accounts for each urban service operation, and (c) install automated billing systems for user charges.
  • Interventions should support the 2009 master plan for Guwahati, which aims to (a) conserve the natural environment; (b) develop an integrated, multimodal transport system with three mass transit lines; and (c) develop physical and social infrastructure for education, health care, and cultural enrichment as well as for water supply and SWM.
  • The investment in construction management, systemic improvements in operations, and capacity building will require Rs 636 million.

Long-term policy support
Two Program loans, for subprogram 1 and subprogram 2 were provided by ADB to help the Government of Assam improve revenue administration and strengthen expenditure and debt management. The expected benefits are more resources available for social and economic infrastructure and budget resources more efficiently allocated toward the outcomes sought. The outcome of the investment Program is improved municipal finances and fiscal position in many cities and towns in Assam, including Guwahati and Dibrugarh, which should reduce overreliance on tariffs to fund the O&M of municipal services.
Outputs envisaged from Program
Output 1: Improved water supply infrastructure in Guwahati. Investments will provide high-quality, 24-hour-a-day water supply to 350,000 residents in the southeastern zone of Guwahati by 2018.23 This includes constructing a water intake and water diversion structures, water treatment facility, water transmission system and service reservoirs, laying all-new distribution pipes, and limiting nonrevenue water to less than 15%, which is below the Ministry of Urban Development benchmark of 20%.
Output 3: Improved solid waste management infrastructure in Dibrugarh. SWM service coverage in Dibrugarh will be increased to more than 80% with in-house waste collection, segregation, recycling and improved solid waste collection, transportation, treatment, and disposal.
Output 4: Improved drainage in Dibrugarh. Flow in the existing Dibrugarh protection drain will be improved by removing accumulated silt and waste, drain enlargement, and the widening and reconstruction of all the road and flood relief culverts, bridges and sluice gates which will significantly reduce flooding in the city.
Output 6: Facility management and implementation support, community awareness, and Program performance monitoring. This component will provide funding support for costs associated with MFF management and implementation, including equipment, logistics, and the services of consultants to assist the Program management unit (PMU) in carrying out detailed design, construction supervision, and related training and capacity building. The detailed design will consider reliable, energy-efficient technology that cuts costs. Community outreach and Program performance monitoring will be carried out by an experienced and capable nongovernment organization (NGO) or consulting firm. A capacity building technical assistance for the Assam Urban Infrastructure Investment Program has been approved under the ongoing cluster technical assistance.24 The main outputs are (i) blueprint organizational structure for GMWSSB as a ring-fenced and sustainable autonomous entity; (ii) central knowledge center in the state, from which sector-related information and best practices in urban municipal services can be sourced and where training can be provided to ULB staff; (iii) toolkit to be used to implement public–private partnership Projects in urban services; and (iv) management information system for use by ULB managers and state government officials.

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