Thursday, July 23, 2009

Water Project: K'tka gets Rs. 1000cr WB loan

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Karnataka's Minister for Rural Development Shobha Karandlaje on Thursday met the World Bank officials in Washington in the US and successfully managed to get Rs. 1,000 crore loan from the bank for the second phase of the Jal Nirmal Project.

The first phase of the Rs. 929.67-crore Jal Nirmal Project has significantly improved rural communities access to potable drinking water and sanitation services in 11 districts of north Karnataka. It has reduced, by nearly 50 per cent, waterborne diseases in select villages.

WB discussion about rural funds

Mr. Shobha Karandlaje held detailed discussions with the World Bank officials and convinced the Bank about the governments commitment to implement the project in drought-prone areas of 15 districts in the second phase.

The Rural Development department secretary Sridhar and other officials attended the meeting along with the minister.

The first phase of the project, which was launched in April, 2002, after initial delays, has covered 3,064 habitations of 744 gram panchayats in the rain-fed and arid districts of Bidar, Gulbarga, Raichur, Bijapur, Bagalkot, Koppal, Gadag, Haveri, Belguam, Dharwad and Uttara Kannada. The International Development Association (IDA), the soft arm of the World Bank, has granted credit of Rs. 728.57 crore to the project.

As many as 1,935 drinking water supply schemes and 1,069 road and drain works have been implemented by spending Rs. 587.68 crore as on June, 2007. With the execution of the schemes, the availability of drinking water in the villages has been enhanced from 30 litres per capita per day (LPCD) to 55 LPCD in the five-year period. Besides village sanitation, JNP has improved sanitation facilities in 2,000 primary and higher primary schools.

The installation of disinfection units in water tanks, adoption of quality parameters and introduction of dual system water supplies (for drinking and other purposes) has reduced waterborne diseases in habitations by nearly 50 per cent. The village water sanitation committees (VWSCs) have been given water quality testing kits to check drinking water quality regularly.

The implementation of multi-village water supply schemes for tapping water from streams in Belgaum, Bijapur and Haveri districts increased LPCD from 30 to 70. Each scheme covers five or six panchayats and its cost ranges from Rs. 7 crore to Rs. 25 crore. Retired engineers have been appointed as consultants for inspection of quality. They have to submit reports to the Karnataka Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency, the nodal agency executing the project.

The JNP has become a model project for States such as Orissa, Maharashtra, Uttaranchal and Punjab, officials said.

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