Coastal zone management, water sector improvement in India gets World Bank support

June 15, 2010
WASHINGTON, DC, June 15, 2010 -- The World Bank has approved two projects in India, consisting of a US$222 million IDA credit for the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project and a US$150 million IDA credit in additional financing for the ongoing Karnataka Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project...

WASHINGTON, DC, June 15, 2010 -- The World Bank today approved two projects worth US$372 million to India, consisting of a US$222 million IDA credit for the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project and a US$150 million IDA credit in additional financing for the ongoing Karnataka Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project.

India's unique coastal and marine ecological resources continue to be under stress from rapid urban-industrialization and from increasing coastal hazards, jeopardizing the well-being of some 63 million people living in the low-elevation coastal areas. The Government of India has initiated a national program to promote participatory, integrated but decentralized process of planning and management of coastal areas to protect and conserve natural resources and to secure livelihoods in coastal communities.

The Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project will help build the appropriate institutional arrangements, capacity and advanced knowledge systems needed to implement the national program. The Project will also help pilot this approach in three coastal states, Gujarat, Orissa and West Bengal, through a range of complementary local pilot investments in select coastal stretches to support state-level capacity building. These investments include interventions such as mangrove plantation, regeneration of coral reefs, cleaning up of beaches, sewerage and solid waste management, conservation of cultural heritage, and a number of activities aimed at enhancing the livelihoods of coastal communities.

"Among others, the Project will support the mapping and delineation of hazard lines and ecologically sensitive areas, setting up a world-class national centre for sustainable coastal zone management, preparation of integrated coastal zone management plans -- each of which will be crucial to serve the long-term interests of the country," says Tapas Paul, World Bank Senior Environment Specialist and Project team leader. "The Project activities have been designed to demonstrate results from integrated and joint actions among stakeholders, with the aim that these can be replicated for long-term gains, both at the national and state levels."

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 US$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 credits from the International Development Association, the World Bank's concessionary lending arm, carry a 0.75 percent service fee, a 10-year grace period, and a maturity of 35 years.

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