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World Bank on rural projects

A three-member World Bank team interacted with government officials of the twin districts of East Singhbhum and Seraikela-Kharsawan on Monday to ensure better implementation of rural water supply and sanitation projects.

The team, comprising social development and communication specialist Minakshi Tripathy, monitoring and evaluation specialist Jyoti Prasad and environmental specialist Smita Sinha, held a four-hour session with officials of drinking water and sanitation department (DW&SD) at Center For Excellence in Jamshedpur and reviewed the progress of a mega rural water supply project at Bagbera-Govindpur and 93 village water projects.

“The districts will benefit from drinking water and toilet facilities, while the World Bank-aided scheme will also focus on efficient management of solid and liquid waste. The Bagbera-Govindpur drinking water scheme is estimated to be worth Rs 272 crore, while Rs 25 crore will be spent on the 93 single village projects,” said Prasad.

The tendering process for the projects is likely to be completed by this week. Work orders would be issued by this month. “World Bank will fund 50 per cent of the requirement, while the remaining would be contributed by the state government and panchayat institutions,” said Prasad.

While the Sagbera-Govindpur project’s source would be surface water (river Subernarekha), the other rural projects would tap into ground water.

These projects, added Prasad, were a part of Bank schemes on building rural water infrastructure in four low-income states of Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand.

At the meet, the Bank team spoke on social and environmental safeguards, capacity building and awareness campaigns about the projects, the importance of adopting hygienic practices and the preparation of detailed project reports.

“The session was beneficial as we got several micro-level inputs on better implementation of the projects, particularly while preparing an environment management framework and preventing contamination from arsenic, fluoride and bacteria,” said Suresh Prasad, executive engineer of the department in Jamshedpur.

In the next phase, the Bank team would conduct similar sessions with panchayat institutions where the projects are to be initiated. There they would talk about water supply systems and stress on the involvement of village water sanitation committees.

The team will also visit Dumka, Palamau, Khunti and Garhwa where similar projects are being implemented. It would present feedback to the Jharkhand State Water and Sanitation Mission Society later this month.

“The scheme will be functional in Jharkhand for the next six years. World Bank has prepared detailed project reports based on specific needs of districts. The objective is to ensure that every household is able to avail of toilet and drinking water facilities,” said Prasad.