INDIA: Enhancing Punjab Cities' Access to Private Financing for Water Supply
This activity is part of a larger World Bank Group program, which aims to support the government of Punjab in accessing financing to improve the provision of water supply. Both the cities of Ludhiana and Amritsar aim to expand their water coverage and service networks and reduce non-revenue water. To increase sustainability, the cities also intend to replace a depleting groundwater source with surface water. Through these interventions, the government aims to improve the quality of water and create fiscal sustainability.
As part of the Bank Group engagement, PPIAF is currently funding support to the Punjab State Finance Commission on inter-governmental transfers to assist the two cities in improving Own-Source Revenues, the Capital Investment Plan, and governance in preparation of a municipal bond and water PPP.
As part of the PPIAF assistance, environmental and social surveys of the two Punjab cities are under development and will include a focus on gender. The intervention has inherent benefits for women given that health challenges related to water contamination in Punjab disproportionately affect women as primary caregivers for family members and as women are underrepresented in local institutions. The survey will facilitate community discussions on the benefits and impacts of the water infrastructure for women and men.
Since the launch of the surface-water schemes in Amritsar and Ludhiana, an additional 87 jurisdictions have requested the inception of such schemes. Furthermore, an Environment and Social Safeguards Management System is under development for all infrastructure sectors, which will ensure that gender safeguards and monitoring become an inherent aspect of project monitoring in the entire state of Punjab.