ADB approves $350,000 grant for environment project
ISLAMABAD: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a Technical Assistance (TA) grant of $350,000 for the Rawalpindi Environment Improvement Project.
The TA will be implemented over five months from July.
Rawalpindi is the third largest city of Pakistan and has over 1.5 million people. To address the scarcity of safe drinking water and poor drainage in the city, the ADB approved a $72 million loan in 1993 for the Rawalpindi Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Project, the first of a proposed three-phased programme to improve the water and sanitation services in the city.
At the completion of the first phase of the programme in the later part of 2003, Rawalpindi’s water supply should rise from the current 192,000 cubic metres per day (CMD) to 256,000 CMD, with the considerable rehabilitation and extenuation of its water supply network.
The improvement of the Nala Lai draining system to mitigate the recurrent flood problem is also an important intervention under the first phase.
The TA will prepare the second phase of the programme, which focuses on the further improvement of sewage and draining, the provision of a sewage treatment plant and solid waste management.
Expanding on its objectives, ADB Country Director Marshuk Ali Shah stated that the project would improve living conditions and the quality of life, reduce poverty among locals in the city where the water supply is inadequate, and environmental conditions are hazardous.
The TA will prepare the overall project design, scope and financial plan and will make recommendations for strengthening the TMA (Tehsil municipal administration) for sustainable operation of municipal functions after the planned take-over of from the Water and Sanitation Authority (WASA) under the devolution.
The TA is envisaged to be in two phases. The first phase will involve a detailed situation analysis, while the second phase will prepare the proposed project. Project interventions will specifically focus on low-income communities. The project will be prepared using community participation, including women’s groups and involving implementation through community-based organisations. The TA will review governance issues relating to beneficiaries and local government participation, especially devolution.
The housing, urban development and public health engineering department of the Punjab government (HUDPHED), and the Rawalpindi TMA will be the executing agencies for the TA. Overall guidance for TA implementation will be provided through a steering committee to be chaired by the HUDPHED secretary, with the Rawalpindi tehsil head and director general as vice chairmen, and with representatives from the TMA, WASA, key project management unit staff of phase one project, capital development authority and SDO as members. The steering committee will meet monthly.