World Bank provides $137 million to modernise 220 dams in 6 states

New Delhi: The World Bank has provided additional financing of 137 million dollars (about Rs 960 crore) for the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) to rehabilitate and modernize over 220 selected large dams in six states.

The dams are located in Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, and Uttarakhand.

The loan agreement was signed by Junaid Ahmad, Country Director of World Bank India, Sameer Khare, Additional Secretary at the Department of Economic Affairs, and representatives from the states.

“Infrastructure management often falls prey to a costly build-decay-rebuild cycle,” said Ahmad. “Breaking this pattern by ensuring that dams are well managed, properly maintained and efficiently operated is essential.”

Khare said that fostering rapid and sustained agricultural growth is a key priority for India. Due to erratic rainfall patterns, dams play a key role in storing water for irrigation and other uses, he said.

In 2010 too, the World Bank had approved 350 million dollars (about Rs 2,450 crore) to finance DRIP that has benefited 25 million primary beneficiaries from urban and rural communities.

India has more than 5,200 large dams and another 400 are under construction with a total storage capacity of more than 300 billion cubic meters, according to an official statement.

In another development on Friday, India and Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a 26 million dollar (about Rs 180 crore) loan agreement to provide additional financing for improving drainage infrastructure in Dibrugarh town of Assam under the ongoing Assam Urban Infrastructure Investment Programme.

The ongoing loan of 51 million dollars (about Rs 360 crore) under the programme is helping to improve water supply infrastructure in Guwahati, and solid waste management and drainage infrastructure in Guwahati and Dibrugarh.