BANGALORE, July 17, 2010: A Credit Agreement of $150 million equivalent for the ongoing Karnataka Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project was signed today by the representatives from the Government of India, the Government of Karnataka and the World Bank. The signatories to the Agreement were Mr Anup K. Pujari, Joint Secretary, on behalf of the Government of India, Mr P. Ravi Kumar, Principal Secretary, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department, Government of Karnataka and Mr Ben Eijbergen, Sector Coordinator, Infrastructure and Lead Transport Specialist, World Bank, India.
This additional finance for the Karnataka Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project (KRWSS) is part of a long-term program of World Bank support to the Government of Karnataka’s efforts to increase rural communities’ access to improved and sustainable drinking water and sanitation services. Since 1993, two participatory Bank-supported projects have already helped villagers in 4,166 villages of 23 districts plan, build and operate their own water supply systems.
The additional finance of $150 million will help scale up the ongoing Second KRWSS project (approved in 2001) to another 1,650 villages, allowing an additional four million people to get access to efficient and reliable water supply. The Project has already brought clean drinking water to about five million people, taking the number of households having private water supply connections from 12 percent to 47 percent in the project villages. The additional finance will also help the government focus on improving the quality of water supply.
“The results of these projects on the ground have demonstrated a way for the Government of Karnataka to successfully decentralize the rural water supply and sanitation services,” said Oscar Alvarado, World Bank’s Senior Water & Sanitation Specialist and Project Team Leader. “Gram Panchayats in the project area have been placed in the driver’s seat, and, together with the Village Water Supply and Sanitation Committees, have been empowered and enabled to make decisions, procure material, carry out construction and manage funds.”
The credit is from the International Development Association (IDA) – the World Bank’s concessionary lending arm – which provides interest-free loans with 35 years to maturity and a 10-year grace period.