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New Delhi: The World Bank has approved a Rs 764.54 crore (US $155.3 million) credit to the southern Indian state of Kerala to help village communities develop and run water supply and sanitation services that will improve the quality of life for some 1.84 million people.
The Second Kerala Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project (KRWSS) — Jalanidhi II — will assist the Government of Kerala in setting up and implementing a statewide sector development program that will bring better water supply and sanitation (RWSS) services to the people.
The Project will help build the capacity of institutions at the state and village-level to implement this program. It will also provide financial and technical assistance for setting-up rural water supply schemes in about 200 Gram Panchayats (GPs) in eight selected districts of the state.
"The government of India is happy to support the government of Kerala improve its institutional capacity to facilitate and scale up community-driven, decentralised RWSS (rural water supply and sanitation) service delivery across the state," Ministry of Finance (Economic Affairs) Joint Secretary Venu Rajamony said.
"The project will be implemented in about 200 gram panchayats. Some 288,000 households are likely to directly benefit from the water supply investments and some 691,000 inhabitants from sanitation interventions under the project," he said.
According to Rajamony, women are expected to be the major overall beneficiaries of the project and will also be a strong voice in the beneficiary committees (BCs), responsible for sub-project implementation.
The project will also provide targeted assistance to about 65,000 beneficiaries among the tribal population in 22 gram panchayats. The government of Kerala has successfully improved rural water supply coverage from 58.6 per cent in 2003 to a reported 67.7 per cent by 2010, reports IANS.
The project has three main components — institutional building, technical assistance and infrastructure development.