Shimla (Himachal Pradesh) [India], March 21 (ANI): With an aim to improve drinking water and sanitation services in five towns of the State, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of Rs. 817.12 crore project with the State Government with the French development agency Agence Francaise de Development (AFD).
The MoU was signed in the presence of Chief Minister Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu and Deputy Chief Minister Mukesh Agnihotri by the Secretary Jal Shakti Vibhag Amitabh Awasthi on behalf of the State Government and country Director AFD Bruno Bosle on behalf of French Development Agency.
The objective of the project is to develop better sewerage facilities in five towns of the state viz. Manali, Bilaspur, Palampur, Nahan, and Karsog and to improve drinking water supply in Manali and Palampur towns.
"Under the project, Rs. 612 crores would be provided by AFD, whereas the State Government would provide Rs. 204.85 crores, said the Chief Minister. The beneficiaries of the project would receive house service connections in these five cities and the sewerage treatment plant would be designed with cutting-edge technologies so that the effluent could be reused for agricultural and industrial purposes," he said.
"The project aims to improve the environmental condition of water sources, reduce water-borne diseases, manage quality sanitation facilities in accordance with local regulations and international best practices, and bring financial sustainability to the drinking water and sanitation sector," he added.
Out of Rs. 425.85 crores in the first phase, Rs. 340 crores would be financed by AFD and in the second phase AFD would provide Rs. 272 crores out of a total project cost of Rs. 371 crores, said Sh. Sukhu. The implementation period of the project was three years and Phase II will begin 18 months after the commencement of Phase-I, he added.
"The State Government is committed to providing the best sanitation facilities and quality drinking water to the people of the State and this project would go a long way in achieving this goal," said the Chief Minister.
CPS, Sunder Singh Thakur, MLAs, Ashish Butail, Ajay Solanki, Bhuvneshwar Gaur, and representatives from AFD, Ankit Tulsian, and Akshita Sharma were present amongst others on the occasion. (ANI)