NATIONAL

French aid for Jodhpur drinking water project

An urban drinking water supply project worth Rs.740 crore will be launched shortly in Jodhpur — the second biggest city in Rajasthan — with loan assistance to be provided by L'Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the French public institution releasing development finance to various countries.

AFD representatives signed an agreement with senior officials of the Union Finance Ministry and the Rajasthan Government in New Delhi on Thursday for providing loan worth Rs.440 crore for the project's first phase. French Ambassador to India François Richier was among those present at the occasion.

According to an official release here, the French agency will provide loan on easy terms for the ambitious project, which will strengthen water supply in the Sun City, paving the way for adoption of a round-the-clock supply system. Construction works valued at Rs.550 crore will be undertaken during the first phase, while the second phase, worth Rs.190 crore, has been approved in principle.

Union Finance Ministry's Department of Economic Affairs Joint Secretary (Bilateral Cooperation) Prabodh Saxena and Rajasthan Additional Chief Secretary (Water Resources) Ram Lubhaya signed the agreement.

“Both governments have accorded priority to a common agenda for sustainable development,” the release quoted Mr. Richier. He pointed out that the French Government was providing financial assistance to a water management project in Nagpur as well.

Joint Secretary Saxena pointed out that the project would facilitate supply of quality drinking water in Jodhpur, situated on the doorstep of the mighty Thar desert, and help in dealing with the perennial problem of shortage of water.

Mr. Lubhaya said renovation of the existing pumping stations and construction of new ones with modern technological applications would help save electricity and ensure regular water supply to the city areas of Mandore, Mahamandir and Paota as well as the residential colonies being developed along Jaipur Road, Nagaur Road and Pali Road on the outskirts of the city.

The project entails replacement of old and decrepit pipelines of a total length of 40 km, laying of 66-km-long new pipelines and construction of a storage tank at Surpura dam and its direct connection with Rajiv Gandhi Lift Canal. The broad vision comprises fulfilling of the drinking water needs in Jodhpur by 2029, said Mr. Lubhaya.