Government signs accord with World Bank $155.3 mn grant (With Image)

February 17th, 2012 - 3:55 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 17 (IANS) To improve water supply and sanitation services in several districts of Kerala, the union government has entered into a credit agreement with International Development Association (IDA), an arm of the World Bank, for a grant of $155.3 million (Rs.764.54 crore).

“The government of India is happy to support the government of Kerala improve its institutional capacity to facilitate and scale up community-driven, decentralised RWSS (rural water supply and sanitation) service delivery across the state,” said Venu Rajamony, joint secretary, economic affairs, ministry of finance.

“The project will be implemented in about 200 gram panchayats. Some 288,000 households are likely to directly benefit from the water supply investments and some 691,000 inhabitants from sanitation interventions under the project,” he said.

According to Rajamony, women are expected to be the major overall beneficiaries of the project and will also be a strong voice in the beneficiary committees (BCs), responsible for sub-project implementation.

“The project will also provide targeted assistance to about 65,000 beneficiaries among the tribal population in 22 gram panchayats. The government of Kerala has successfully improved rural water supply coverage from 58.6 percent in 2003 to a reported 67.7 percent by 2010.”

The grant, according to IDA, will fund the second edition of the state government’s rural water supply and sanitation project (KRWSS) — Jalanidhi II.

“It (project) will provide financial and technical assistance for setting up rural water supply schemes in about 200 gram panchayats (GPs) in eight selected districts of the state,” IDA said in a statement.

The project has three main components — institutional building, technical assistance and infrastructure development.

The IDA credit has a maturity of 25 years, including a five-year grace period.

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