Indian state to receive World Bank loan for water project

The World Bank has finalised a $155.3m loan to the southern Indian state of Kerala to help village communities to enhance water supply and sanitation services for some 1.84 million people.

Under the second Kerala rural water supply and sanitation project (KRWSS), the government of Kerala plans to set up and implement a statewide sector development programme to develop supply and sanitation services for the region's population.

The project task team leader Martin Gambrill said the project will provide technical support and finance the construction, rehabilitation and, where required, the modernisation of new water supply schemes, as well as assist rural communities in better management of waste disposal.

The project will develop the capacity of institutions at the state and village-level to implement the programme. It will also provide financial and technical assistance for setting-up rural water supply schemes in eight selected districts of the state.

The KRWSS project, Jalanidhi II, follows the first project financed by the World Bank, Jalanidhi I, which transferred the implementation and key decision-making responsibility of water supply and sanitation-related services.

The entire scheme has three main components including institutional building, technical assistance and infrastructure development.

The bank has approved the credit through its concessionary lending arm, International Development Association, it lasts 25 years and includes a five-year grace period.

World Bank country director Roberto Zagha said the bank has provided support to the Government of India's RWSS agenda, in partnership with a number of state governments, over the last two decades, and in Kerala since early 2000.