FIELD NOTES—ASIA PACIFIC

Veolia Water, the water division of Veolia Environnement, signed two municipal outsourcing contracts in Beijing and ZunYi.

China: Veolia Water, the water division of Veolia Environnement, signed two municipal outsourcing contracts in Beijing and ZunYi. The contract with the City of Beijing covers the construction and 20-years operation of a wastewater plant in Bei Yuan, which will be built next to the Olympic Village. The contract will generate revenue of g20 million.

Under the ZunYi contract, Veolia Water will rehabilitate and operate for 35 years the city's two drinking water treatment plants. ZunYi is a city of 600,000 residents in Guizhou Province. The contract is expected to generate g210 million in revenue.

India: Lack of a proper underground drainage system is affecting stormwater drains in Mangalore city, according to experts in Mangalore city. Addressing a meeting on "Importance of stormwater drains in urban development", organised by the Mangalore Nagara Parisarasaktha Okkoota and the urban research centre of Technology Informatics Design Endeavour (TIDE), in Mangalore on 24 May, the Executive Engineer of Mangalore City Corporation, Mr. Suresh Babu, said that nine stormwater drains in the city carry rainwater to rivers, including Gurupura, Nethravathi and Pavanje.

Stating that only 20% of the area in Mangalore has underground drainage system, he said that some people let sewage out into stormwater drains. Mr. Babu urged the citizens of Mangalore to avoid such practices. The city needs at least US$ 2.2 million to rejuvenate stormwater drains in the city, he said. Asian Development Bank is providing financial assistance for this work, he said, in addition to government funds.

Prof M.N. Madyastha of National Institute of Technology Karnataka (NITK), Surathkal, said that grass and shrubs that grow on the sides of the stormwater drains help prevent topsoil erosion. Such natural vegetation is disappearing due to the rapid growth of cities and towns, paving the way for topsoil erosion, which has resulted in the accumulation of silt in such stormwater drains, he said.

Vietnam: The official Vietnam News Agency reports that the second phase of the Japanese-funded underground water development project began on 8 May 2004 in Dong Bam commune, Dong Hy district of northern mountainous Thai Nguyen province.

Five water supply systems will be built in Hoa Thuong, Dong Bam, Thinh Duc, and Nam Tien communes under the US$ 6 million second phase. This phase also includes the building of 10 water wells and water storage facilities in addition to treating contaminated water from now until 2005. Once completed, more than 21,700 local people will get access to safe water.

The US$ 19.2 million underground water development project in Vietnam's northern provinces is being carried out in three phases under Japan's non-refundable aid. The project aims to give 75,400 local people access to safe water, raise local people's awareness of safe water and transfer underground water technology to northern Ninh Binh and Thai Nguyen provinces, and central Thanh Hoa province. More than 27,000 people in four communes of Thanh Hoa and Ninh Binh provinces benefited from the previous phase.

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