The World Bank’s Board of Directors has approved US $100 million for south Indian state of Karnataka's Urban Water Supply Modernization Project (KUWSMP).
This assistance will help bring clean water to one million citizens of Hubballi-Dharwad, the second largest urban center in Karnataka including 160,000 people who live in slums and currently depend upon public standposts or private vendors for water, World bank press release said.
The Project will finance physical investments in the water supply system for the twin cities, and support city authorities in strengthening systems and procedures required to sustainably close the current water service delivery gaps.
Most Indian towns and cities supply water intermittently. According to the Ministry of Urban Development, only 50 percent of consumers in most cities have household connections to the pipe system, while the poor are typically not connected at all, and have to pay significantly higher prices to purchase water from private vendors. Women and children bear the cost of coping with intermittent supply by spending time collecting water from public standposts or waiting hours for water to become available.
Under the KUWSMP, the Hubballi Dharwad Municipal Corporation will hire a professional water supply operating company to help make the necessary improvements to its water supply system, and to manage the refurbished system through a 12-year contract in accordance with strict performance criteria.
The municipality will retain ownership of the water supply assets and control of the service delivery set up. The Project will help the Hubballi-Dharwad Municipal Corporation set up a city-level water utility that will take over water supply operations from the professional operating company at the end of its contract period.