In a boost to the all-day-round water supply project of Chandigarh, the European Union (EU) approved a grant of approximately Rs 90 crore. Also in December 2020, a French development agency approved a Rs 400 crore loan for the project.
The grant from the EU will be specifically spent for providing benefits to marginalised people, including economically weaker sections and women, and for improving the environment.
KK Yadav, Chief Executive Officer of Chandigarh Smart City Limited, said that it is the first time that the European Union has given a grant to a city in the northern part of India for a water supply project, reports The Indian Express.
“We have been informed by the Agence Française de Dèveloppement (AFD) that the EU has given in-principle approval to us for this grant. This grant has been given to us for fulfilling the criteria that is required for it. There were three parameters. They see the worth of the project, such as one criteria was gender based– how much impact would it have on a household’s women as the availability of the water will increase. The second was the availability of water to the economically weaker section and third was the environmental impact,” KK Yadav said.
He added that it was the AFD itself that stated that they will consider this grant for us from the EU, as the project report fulfilled the required criteria.
“Since smart meters have to be installed and the cost of each of them would be Rs 8,000, it would be difficult for the economically weaker section in the city to bear the expense. Thus, through this grant, we will be bearing these costs,” he said.
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