The Government of India, the
Government of Uttarakhand and the World Bank Board signed here today in New
Delhi, a $120 million Loan Agreement which will help increase access to
improved water supply services in peri-urban areas in the State of
The Agreement for the project was
signed by Mr. Sameer Kumar
Khare, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance,
on behalf of the Government of India; Mr. Arvind Singh Hyanki, Secretary, Department
of Drinking Water and Sanitation, on behalf of the Government of Uttarakhand;
and Mr. Hisham Abdo, Acting Country
Director, World Bank, India on behalf of the World Bank, says an official
The Uttarakhand Water Supply Program
for Peri-Urban Areas will help the State increase water supply coverage as well
as ensure sustainable water supply service delivery in peri-urban areas. It
will develop and implement a service-oriented and efficient water supply policy
for peri-urban areas, strengthen the current monitoring and evaluation systems,
and provide dedicated incentives for preparation and adoption of water supply
‘master-plans’ in peri-urban areas.
Growth and urbanization has led to
the rise of significant “peri-urban” areas (mostly in the plains) that, while
classified as rural, are effectively urban in nature (in terms of density of
population, the structure of the economy, and aspirations of the people).
The “disconnect” between the formal classification of these populated areas and
their actual nature, including provision of water supply, along with unique governance,
infrastructure, and service delivery challenges.
From 2001 to 2011, the state’s urban
population grew by nearly 42 percent, which is substantially higher than the
national average of 32 percent. While the state has made significant strides in
piloting and implementing innovative approaches in water supply and sanitation
services, water supply services in peri-urban areas have not been a focus.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Sameer Kumar Khare, Joint Secretary,
Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India said
that over 700,000 people residing in peri-urban areas of the state are expected
to benefit from the program and this project will help “especially women access
to regular water supply services thus freeing-up their time for other more
socially and economically productive activities”..
The Program will focus on increasing
coverage, quality and reliability of water supply services in all peri-urban
areas of the State. Services would be provided through piped network and
metered service connections with a focus on improving the operation and
management (O&M) of it. Some of the efforts at improving services under the
Program will include ensuring a minimum 16-hour water supply which meets the
Government of India water quality standards, supplied at a minimum pressure of
12m, for no less than 300 days in a year; 100 percent customer metering and
volumetric tariffs; and sustainable water supply systems which recover O&M
costs through user charges with transparent subsidies, if any.
Speaking on the occasion, Ms Smita Misra, Lead Water Supply and
Sanitation Specialist and the World Bank’s Task Team Leader for the program pointed
out that the program, now a priority for the State “ moves towards achieving
its goal of universal water supply coverage in urban areas by 2030 and in rural
areas by 2022”.
The $120 million loan from the
International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a 5-year
grace period, and a maturity of 17 years.