Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh on Monday said that the central government had approved a project for funding from the World Bank for augmentation of water supply in the town. The project, amounting to Rs 643.05 crore, will address water requirements not only in Shimla town, comprising of Shimla municipal corporation areas, but also special planning (SPA) and suburban areas in the vicinity of the town.
The project was approved by the union finance ministry during a meeting, which was attended by additional chief secretary, irrigation and public health, PC Dhiman, along with other senior officers of the state government, held in New Delhi.
Virbhadra said additional water supply from Kol Dam would be made available for Shimla under the project. "Water supply distribution system will be improved by eliminating water leakages and wastage," he said, adding that sanitary conditions in the town would be substantially improved by providing sewerage facility to all households, construction of new sewerage treatment plants, improvement of existing treatment plants and rejuvenation of sewerage lines.
The CM said the project would have three components, including augmentation of water supply of Shimla town by lifting water from Kol Dam reservoir, rehabilitation of water supply distribution system and rejuvenation of sewerage network in the town.
Virbhadra said the state government had made efforts to get the project approved from the union government for World Bank funding. He said the state would get Rs 514 crore from the World Bank and Rs 129 crore would be provided by the the state government as counterpart funding over a project period of three years.
Urban development minister Sudhir Sharma has also expressed happiness over the centre's move. He said the project would ensure uninterrupted water supply to the Shimla town, which besides being state capital was also a major tourist destination. He said the project would also help in enhancing the storage capacity and technological upgrading sewerage treatment plants.