New Delhi: Globally, India ranks 120th among 122 countries in WaterAid’s water quality index and the Composite Water Management Index (CWMI) of NITI Aayog has confirmed that 70 percent of India’s water supply is contaminated. These are the facts that show how difficult the challenge of water supply in this country is. In order to solve the shortage issue of the water supply and sewerage system, the GoI has formulated “Clean India Mission: Swachh Bharat Mission” and “Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT)” in 2014, to promote the establishment of these infrastructures in the major cities. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has been working towards improving the condition of water in India, through both water supply and sewerage treatment projects. In this context, JICA observed World Water Day to lay impetus on supplying safe drinking water and mitigation of water resources pollution.
JICA is committed to improve India’s water quality and has extended ODA loans of over 722 billion Japanese Yen (approximately INR 46,000 crore) towards Water and Sanitation Projects across the country including Agra, Varanasi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Jaipur and Delhi amongst other major cities. Through these projects, JICA has supported water supply for 30 million people in India.
Speaking on the occasion of World Water Day, Mr. Katsuo Matsumoto, Chief Representative, JICA India said, “Every citizen of the country has the right to access clean drinking water. With the rapid growth of population, the demand also increases. JICA understands the growing need for development of infrastructure and is making several strides to ensure water supply for all, and to develop sewerage facilities that can take care of the increased water usage. Supplying safe water and conservation of water resources are priority for the Government of India, and we fully support this effort by collaborating with the concerned Ministries and urban local bodies in India.” The amount of available water (per capital and per day) has increased from 37 litter (In 2007, Before the Project) to 90 litter (In 2017, After the Project completion) in Municipality area and from 10 litter (In 2007, Before the Project) to 40 litter (In 2017, After the Project completion) in Habitation area.
In the context of rural water supply, JICA has extended an ODA Loan of 39,482 million Japanese Yen (approximately Rs. 2,632 Crore) for the Hogenakkal Water Supply and Fluorosis Mitigation Project. The Project aims to provide safe and stable drinking water supply to meet the surging demands of the dependent communities. The project is improving the shortage of drinking water in the area and is contributing to mitigate prevalent fluorosis symptoms caused by local ground-water which is heavily contaminated with Fluorine.
In order to support world-class tourism city, JICA has also extended a cumulative loan of 41,101 million Japanese Yen (approximately Rs. 2,740 Crore) for the Agra Water Supply Project in Uttar Pradesh. On January 31 2020, the newly constructed Intake Structure & Tube Settler unit for water supply (Ganga Jal) at Jeoni Mandi, was inaugurated. The Project is providing safe drinking water to the dependent communities by constructing water supply facilities that flow water from the upper reaches of the Ganges to Agra and its surrounding areas. It is expected that 1.7 million people will be benefitted after completion of the project.
Moreover because of importance of urban water supply, JICA has granted an ODA loan of 28,975 million Japanese Yen (approximately Rs. 1,930 Crore) the Delhi Water Supply Improvement Project which aims to provide clean water for all. Through the Project’s successful pilot implementation of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems in Delhi, JICA expects to rationalize and enhance the efficiency of Delhi Jal Board’s (DJB) water distribution services. It is the first SCADA system in the country to monitor and control water distribution with water-controlled valves, which would enable DJB to initiate equitable distribution and Non-Revenue Water management at 13 local control points in Delhi, ensuring safe access to clean water. This project contributes to achieve 24 hours water supply in the project area, where water was available only 6 hours a day in 2011.
35 ODA Loans, 4 Grant Aids and 12 Technical Cooperation’s have been extended for the water and sanitation sector in India. On World Water Day, JICA strengthens its resolve to achieve the targets of SDG-6 in India, which aims to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.