India has signed $120 million loan agreement with multilateral lending agency World Bank to help increase access to improved water supply services in peri-urban areas in Uttarakhand. The agreement was signed between Government of India, Government of Uttarakhand and World Bank Board.
The loan amount will be used for Uttarakhand Water Supply Program for Peri-Urban Areas to help state to increase water supply coverage as well as ensure sustainable water supply service delivery in peri-urban areas. The program will develop and implement service-oriented and efficient water supply policy for peri-urban areas, strengthen current monitoring and evaluation systems. It will also provide dedicated incentives for preparation and adoption of water supply ‘master-plans’ in peri-urban areas.
Population growth and urbanization has led to rise of significant peri-urban areas mostly in the plain regions of Uttarakhand. They are still classified as rural but are effectively urban in nature in terms of density of population, structure of economy and aspirations of the people.
It has resulted in actual disconnect between formal classification of these populated areas and their actual nature, including provision of water supply, along with unique governance, infrastructure, and service delivery challenges. From 2001 to 2011, the state’s urban population has grown by nearly 42%, which is substantially higher than national average of 32%. State has made significant strides in piloting and implementing various innovative approaches in water supply and sanitation services but in peri-urban areas have not been prime focus.