The World Bank has expressed concern over the slow down in the implementation of the Andhra Pradesh Water Sector Improvement project.

One of the prime reasons for the slow down, the bank said, is due to non-constitution of the State Water Resources Regulatory Commission as envisaged in the project. The project, involving around US $ 900 million, has been approved in 2010 for achieving the twin objectives of improving irrigation service delivery on a sustainable basis to increase productivity of irrigated agriculture under the Nagarjunasagar scheme. It was aimed at strengthening the State’s institutional capacity for multi-sectoral planning, development and management of its water resources. In addition to improving service delivery, the project envisaged effective participation of WUAs, increased “cost recovery” and ensuring full provision of operation & maintenance costs of the project. Once put in place, the regulator would decide about the delivery of bulk of the water to water users associations as per their entitlement. There were 754 WUAs under the project whose term expired on Jan 31 this year. Three years after its launch, the project, which was progressing well due to good initial start, however, slowed down, the Bank said in its latest status report on the implementation. Another reason for the delay was on account of non-completion of elections to water users associations under the Nagarjunasagar ayacut.

The bank said most of the key consultancies are in place and about Rs. 2,265 crore of contracts, works and goods/equipment under the project had been awarded till date. But, the progress of project development objectives and the overall implementation of the project had been “moderately satisfactory”. Interestingly, these two components were termed “satisfactory” status in previous rating. The report said the appointment of chairman and members of the regulatory commission had not taken place but the process for the appointment had been initiated. The rules for appointment of the commission’s office bearers had been cleared by the department concerned and the appointments are likely to be made before September 30.