BENGALURU: The World Bank has okayed a $100-million loan to provide 24x7 water supply to Hubballi-Dharwad. The green signal was given during a meet held on Monday and Tuesday in New Delhi between the WB and state urban development officials.
T M Vijay Bhaskar, additional chief secretary (ACS), Karnataka Urban Development Department, said a few areas in Hubballi-Dharwad were already provided with round-the-clock water. “With the funding okayed by the World Bank yesterday, we will be able to provide the entire city continuous water supply,” he said. WB has agreed to release the amount immediately, he added.
Tenders have already been called for providing uninterrupted water and work orders issued to a group comprising the Malaysian concern Ranhill, the Indian firm ILFS and a Greek concern, Bhaskar said.
This is part of the Karnataka Urban Water Supply Modernisation Project under which 24x7 supply for Belagavi and Kalaburagi have also been envisaged with the financial assistance of the World Bank.
“Due to some issues with the tendering process for Belagavi and Kalaburagi, we will be retendering both the projects and it could take up to nine months to finalise the tenders,” he said.
On the Hubballi-Dharwad project, he said it would take nearly a year for preparing the plan, and getting it operational would take a few more years. “We can say with certainty that within three years, Hubballi-Dharwad will get 24x7 water supply,” he said.
Elaborating on the manner in which the project would be implemented, Bhaskar said each of the cities would have an ‘operator’. The operator will be a company under the municipal corporations of each city. They would carry it out in collaboration with the Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development & Finance Corporation. The formal agreement would be inked for the Hubballi-Dharwad project with World Bank officials at New Delhi on February 29, he added.
The three cities already have 10 per cent of the population provided with round-the-clock water supply through a pilot project initiated by the WB, but most of the areas suffer from intermittent water supply.
Bhaskar, also the BWSSB chairperson, ruled out any chances of 24x7 water supply for Bengaluru in the near future.