Chandigarh, Apr 18 (UNI) The Punjab goevrnment today formally gave its nod to the ambitious Rs 1,280.30 Crore World Bank aided 'Punjab Water Supply and Sanitation Project'.
The project was approved at a meeting of the World Bank team with Public Health Minister Bikram Singh Majithia here.
The World Bank team was led by Mr G V Abhyankar and Dr S Satish, Members,World Bank Mission.
At the meeting, Mr Majithia said the state government is committed to make the Project a grand success and would ensure that every penny provided by the World Bank for the project is properly utilised.
Appreciating the World Bank team for conducting a thorough study of villages of Punjab, The Minister said he would focus on accountability and transparency in the execution of project.
Independent bodies would monitor the work quality of the project, he added.
At the meeting, the minister requested the World Bank officials to have a re-look on two or three issues which he felt could affect the smooth implementation of this project especially in remote villages. He strongly suggested that World Bank should explore the possibility of lowering user charges as panchayat land would be utilised for this project.
The Minister also suggested increasing the coverage of villages under the sewerage plan from 100 to 500. Likewise the number of village ponds under the upgradation plan should be increased from 1,000 to 3,000. The World Bank officials promised to look into the suggestions of the Minister.
As per the MOU signed last year, the World Bank would contribute Rs 750.90 crore in the project, while the state government contribution would be Rs 240.45 crore. The central government contribution in the project would be Rs 207.20 crore and community contribution would be Rs 76.80 crore.
The project would be completed by March 26, 2012 and would supply water to 7.4 million people. It will finance new water schemes for 2124 villages and upgrade existing water supply schemes in 920 villages.
The first phase would cover 40 villages which have already deposited 100 per cent of their 10 per cent contribution.