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Gurgaon's water woes to end after 25 years.

CITIES such as Gurgaon, Patna, Jaipur and Nasik look to benefit from the advanced stage talks between the urban development ministry and the World Bank.

The World Bank has promised financial assistance worth $ 1 billion ( roughly ` 4,400 crore) for projects to streamline water supply and sanitation.

The projects are likely to impact the quality of life in about 15 second and third tier cities. The assistance, if finalised, would be separate from what has been contributed for the same sectors under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission ( JNNURM).

Although senior officials declined to name the 15 cities covered by the project -- to avoid political lobbying -- insiders confirmed it would be the emerging second tier and three tier cities that would benefit.

" It might benefit some cities like Gurgaon as it is not only water- crunched, but also doesn't have a sanitation system in place even after 25 years of existence," a UDM official said.

The thrust areas would be to ensure 24/ 7 water supply, including setting up desalination plants, augment the existing water supply capacity, which are buckling under inadequate infrastructure and setting up an e- governance mechanism for regular monitoring and evaluation.

Water and sanitation have been identified as priorities because of the potential these cities hold for development, the official said. It is also known that despite the funds available under the JNNURM, the final execution is often derailed due to lack of ideas from the cities' urban local bodies.

The ministry is now working on the potential partnership with the World Bank to gain the dedicated funds and, if possible, technical knowhow and a system of monitoring and evaluation by an independent party.

World Bank and UDM officials confirmed the proposed financial assistance, but hinted it would only materialise by the middle of next year.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Jan 2, 2011
Words:317
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