ADB: $96m for sanitation and water in Himachal Pradesh

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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $96.3 million loan to provide safe drinking water and improve water supply and sanitation services of Himachal Pradesh, India.

New financing has been agreed under the Himachal Pradesh Rural Drinking Water Improvement and Livelihood Project in India.

More than 90% of the state’s rural population have access to drinking water, but the water supply infrastructure is aging and suffers from significant deterioration. New funding from the ADB will connect 75,800 households to the service, providing uninterrupted water supply to around 370,000 residents across 10 districts.   

ADB unit head of project administration on urban development and water for South Asia, Jude Kohlhase, explained: “The project meets the objectives of the Jal Jeevan Mission, a national flagship programme of the Government of India, which aims to provide piped water to all rural households by 2024. The project will upgrade water supply infrastructure and strengthen institutional capacity to ensure safe, sustainable, and inclusive rural water supply and sanitation services.” 

The project will improve water supply and sanitation services through the construction of 48 groundwater wells, 80 surface water intake facilities, 109 water treatment plants, 117 pumping stations and 3,000km of water distribution pipelines.

A pilot faecal sludge management and sanitation programme will also be implemented in Sirmaur District, benefitting 250,000 residents and to determine replicability and guide the design of future projects.

To ensure efficient delivery and sustainability of services, the project will strengthen the capacity of the Jal Shakti Vibhag of the Government of Himachal Pradesh, along with local government village water and sanitation committees. It will support the state governments water tariff policy reforms and introduce an asset management system at the state-level and district asset management plans.

Key project stakeholders and community-based organisations will be trained on water management, including livelihood skills training for women self-help groups. The project will also raise public awareness on the health benefits from improved water supply, sanitation, and hygiene practices.