The World Bank's Executive Board of Directors approved a USD 363 million loan to Karnataka to provide a clean drinking water supply to two million rural households in the state through a piped water connection.
The loan has a maturity of 13.5 years including a grace period of two years. Almost 77 per cent of Karnataka is arid or semi-arid and is vulnerable to climate-change-related variable rainfall causing droughts and floods, leading to groundwater depletion, and deteriorating water quality, according to the World Bank. According to a release by World Bank on Tuesday (local time), the assistance will support Karnataka's ambition to provide functioning tap water connections to every rural household in the state.
"Gender parity is at the heart of our support to India's target to get piped water to all rural households," said Auguste Tano Kouame, the World Bank's Country Director for India. "Importantly the Program will enhance the capacity of rural local governments to manage water supply services efficiently which will directly benefit women especially, as they bear the biggest burden of fetching water.
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They will now have better health and have more time to pursue opportunities for education and formal jobs."
Also under the program, around 500 rural water reservoirs in seven water-stressed districts -- Bengaluru Rural, Bengaluru Urban, Bidar, Chikkaballapura, Kalaburgi, Kolara, and Tumakuru -- will be revived to help increase water storage capacity and groundwater recharge.