The World Bank and India signed a deal on Tuesday by which the nation will receive $100 million in loan funds to provide the citizens of Karnataka with a continuous supply of fresh, running water. The Karnataka Urban Water Supply Modernization Project will provide access to continuously piped water to the cities of Karnataka, a poor region of India.
Karnataka is a region in the southwest of India. As of the 2011 census, there were 61,095,297 people living in the region. Most of its economic output comes from agriculture; however, the region suffers from a lack of adequate infrastructure in many areas, particularly the rural regions that support much of the region’s agricultural output. Most dire of these inadequacies: a lack of clean, running, piped drinking water.
To address this situation, the Indian Finance Ministry announced its deal with the World Bank via a written statement on Tuesday. They indicated that the Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development and Finance Corporation (KUIDFC) would serve as the implementing agency for the project, which will have four basic elements: capital investment, institution building, technical assistance, and project management.
The project will roll out over the period of six years, starting with the sister cities of Hubballi and Dharwad. Other eligible cities in the Karnataka area will be able to join the project later after demonstrating eligibility and meeting certain criteria.
The Hubballi-Dharwad Municipal Corporation will set up the local water utility entity that will ultimately assume responsibility for the professional operation of the water supply. In total, the Hubballi-Dharwad Municipal Corporation will be responsible for providing fresh, piped water to an estimated 160,000 people who live in slum conditions in the region.
As other regions come online, tens of thousands of other Indian residents currently living without clean, running, piped water could benefit from the program. Of course, the provision of clean, running water should not only improve the quality of life for the residents of the Karnataka region, but also reduce rates of disease, provide additional jobs, and ultimately increase the economic equality and power of the region.
Indian Department of Economic Affairs Joint Secretary Raj Kumar and World Bank Acting Country Director (India) Michael Haney signed the agreement with the World Bank. The statement did not indicate when the funds would first transfer to India or precisely when work on the infrastructural improvements would begin.