Focus on women’s empowerment secures ₹100-cr EU grant for 24x7 water supply project in Chandigarh
Women’s empowerment will be a key component of the pan-Chandigarh 24x7 water supply project, which is to be launched in April this year.
The ₹500 crore ambitious project will have jobs reserved for women at different levels, health programmes exclusively for them and priority water connections in women’s name besides subsidies.
“The Gender Action Plan was crucial in getting the European Union’s nod for around ₹100 crore for the project,” said NP Sharma, chief general manager, Chandigarh Smart City Limited (CSCL).
The CSCL will get about ₹400 crore loan from the French Development Agency and around ₹100 crore grant from the EU to execute its project. After approvals from both, the project is currently awaiting signing of agreements between these agencies and the Union ministry concerned.
“The EU was impressed by the project’s gender-sensitive approach to improve suitability, sustainability and reach of water services by focusing on and involving gender dimensions in the facility’s design, implementation and management,” said Sharma.
As per the CSCL proposal, nearly all administrative posts under the project will be filled by women. Overall, the minimum female participation will be at 33%, particularly in the social development unit.
At least 50% new meters are proposed to be allotted in the name of women from economically weaker section and low income groups. Additional subsidies and incentives will also be given to them.
“The project also incorporates imparting of livelihood skills to women, such as making candles, incense sticks, low-cost sanitary pads and other such products. It also aims to provide help in creation and strengthening of self-help groups in project influence area, especially in rural areas and rehabilitation colonies, with a primary focus on women,” said Sharma. Creche facilities will also be started for the children of women workforce under the project.
Poverty alleviation: 33% reservation for women within the urban poverty alleviation cell of MC, involvement of women councillors in related programmes
Infra and utilities management: Need identification for basic infrastructure, such as water supply, sanitation, solid waste and drainage, for women; women to be involved in the implementation, operation and management of these services