Punjab will seek a $210 million loan from World Bank or Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) for a canal-based water supply project in Amritsar and Ludhiana, under the Punjab Municipal Service Improvement Project (PMSIP).
The decision was taken today by the state Cabinet at a virtual meeting chaired by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, according to an official statement.
The state Cabinet authorised Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to take any decision to meet the objectives of the project and to ensure successful and timely implementation of various activities proposed by the World Bank or AIIB.
The Cabinet was informed that the current water supply system to the residents of Ludhiana and Amritsar is through deep bore tube wells installed at different sites.
However, with the passage of time, the ground water level is depleting, causing the tube-wells to need frequent replacement. Also, the discharge in the tube-wells gets reduced, as a result of which residents often complain of insufficient water for drinking purposes.
"To overcome this problem, it has now been decided to shift to canal-based water supply in these two towns with the assistance of World Bank/AIIB by seeking a loan of $210 million.
"The work for canal-based water supply for Amritsar town has already been awarded, whereas a request for proposal for Ludhiana town is being floated. The implementation period for this project shall be three years after award of work," the statement said.
The state government, in June 2018, through the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Union government, had requested the World Bank to support Punjab in implementing round the clock canal-based water supply projects in Amritsar and Ludhiana.
With technical assistance from the World Bank, the pre-feasibility reports were prepared for both cities in 2015 and updated in 2019. It proposed the need to migrate from rapidly depleting and contaminated decentralised ground water sources to a centralised treated surface water source.
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