In a visit that is likely to help the city gain access to the canal-based system of water supply, Phillippe Le Houeruu, vice-president, World Bank's South Asia Region, arrived in Amritsar on Saturday from Pakistan.
He was received at the Attari border by deputy commissioner Rajat Aggarwal and other officials of the district administration and the Amritsar municipal corporation.
Houeruu, who assumed charge as vice-president for the World Bank's South Asia Region in July this year, is on a two-day visit to the city. During his visit, he will visit two villages -- Naushera Pannuan in Amritsar south constituency and Nizampur in Jandiala constituency -- where he would take stock of a World Bank-sponsored project worth Rs 1,280 crore to provide water supply and sewerage connectivity to the residents.
Municipal commissioner DPS Kharbanda said Houeruu would also study the more-than-a-century-old water supply system of the city which, at present, is heavily reliant on the groundwater resources for the daily water needs of the residents. "The groundwater resources of the city are the main source of its daily water supply and the groundwater level is depleting by 50 cm every year, which requires stringent measures to prevent it from depleting further," he said.
Stating that a number of localities in the city still awaited proper water supply and sewerage facilities, Kharbanda said the government proposed to link Amritsar and Ludhiana with the canal-based water supply systems, for which meetings had already been held with the World Bank officials.
Kharbanda maintained that the MC had prepared two proposals to ensure 100% water supply for the city - for water supply from the Beas worth Rs 250 crore and the Upper Bari Doab Canal worth Rs 150 crore. "The proposals have already been sent to the World Bank. Discussions on these projects are likely to be held with Houeruu during his visit to the city," Kharbanda added.