Sunday, November 21, 2010

India gets $1 bn World Bank loan for 24/7 water supply

India has sought assistance worth USD 1 billion (about Rs 4,600 crore) from the World Bank for ensuring 24/7 water supply in about 10 cities.

According to officials, the loan has been approved in-principle by the Bank.

"The modalities are being worked out with the World Bank officials to launch a pilot water supply project in the country," a senior official from the Urban Development Ministry said.

The project, first of its kind, is meant to ensure 24 hours of water supply in these cities.

"We are in the process of selecting the cities where the water supply scheme will be implemented. There are certain factors to be considered before the selection and it will be decided after the discussion with state governments and civic authorities," he said.

There are only few pockets in cities like Jamshedpur, Hubli-Dharward, Nagpur where round the clock water supply system is available.

There are certain measures like levying user charges, installing metering system and creating a water management system that need to be adopted for implementing the water supply system, the official said, adding, all these measures are linked with the World Bank assistance.

Currently, the Ministry is supporting 63 cities in developing urban infrastructure through the JNNURM schemes like construction of flyovers, dedicated routes for public transport system, development of sewerage system and providing low-floor buses among others.

"However, there are many cities facing water crisis due to the inadequate water supply system and we want to address it with the World Bank assistance," said the official.