World Bank sanctions $248 million loan for water, sanitation facilities in Punjab



By Newsgram Staff Writer

With the World Bank sanctioning a loan of Rs 1,540 crore for water and sanitation facilities in Punjab, the state government is all set to provide water connections and toilets to every rural household in the next six years.

‘Punjab Rural Water and Sanitation Sector Improvement Project’ aims at significantly improving the state’s water delivery and sanitation services along with enhancing the quality of life in rural Punjab.

A Punjab government spokesperson said on Thursday that the WB has approved its contribution of a $248 million (Rs. 1,540 crore) loan for the $354 million (Rs. 2,200 crore) ‘Punjab Rural Water and Sanitation Sector Improvement Project.’

The project is said to provide a minimum of 10 hours of daily water supply, a toilet for every toilet-less household, and a sewerage system in over 315 villages. In addition, it aspires to deliver safe and pure surface water to 121 villages that are currently drinking water contaminated with uranium and other heavy metals.

The World Bank data cites that over four million women in Punjab, who, at present, bear the burden of securing daily water supplies and deal with poor sanitation facilities, would benefit from this project as they would have access to more reliable and better quality water supply and sanitation facilities in their own households.

The spokesperson also said, “Over 625,000 households in the state still lack toilets. The sanitation component would provide a subsidy to every toilet-less household to construct one.”

It is anticipated that the project would directly benefit an estimated 8.47 million rural people in Punjab. It includes over 4 million female beneficiaries and 2.44 million beneficiaries belong to scheduled castes.