The state-owned Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development and Finance Corporation (KUIDFC) has shortlisted seven international firms to provide consultancy services for the expansion of Karnataka Urban Water Sector Improvement Project (KUWASIP) at an estimated cost of Rs 735 crore in three north Karnataka cities.
This follows the successful completion of a World Bank-assisted 24/7 drinking water supply project in the cities of Hubli-Dharwad, Belgaum and Gulbarga. The new operator will be finalised in the next two weeks.
Aravind Srivastav, managing director of KUIDFC said, “In response to our advertisement seeking expression of interest seven firms have shown interest. The shortlisted companies will be issued a request for proposal and ask them to submit their detailed project report, which will take around six months. Once they submit their DPRs, the exact investment required for this project will be known and based on the report corporation will complete the bidding process and appoint an operator to execute the project.”
The project will be executed as a public-private partnership model. Under the PPP model, the project will have 20 per cent funding from the state and Centre governments respectively, 10 per cent from the respective municipal corporations and the balance 50 per cent will be put in by the private operator. The expansion project is expected to be completed by 2013-14 and every citizen of these three North Karnataka cities will have safe water 24/7.
Srivastav said the KUIDFC has also initiated talks with the World Bank to extend further loan to take up the expansion work. “We have had preliminary talks with the World Bank. The bank has expressed its willingness to participate. They may finance on behalf of the state government. But, nothing is finalised yet,” he said.
KUWASIP is the first phase of a long term programme, to be implemented in phases, to reform urban water supply and sanitation sector initiated by Karnataka government as a pilot for an investment of Rs 237 crore, 75 per cent of which is a loan from the World Bank.
The primary objective of the project was to demonstrate the feasibility of continuous, pressurised (24/7) water supply in small areas of the selected project cities called “demonstration zones”.
In 2004, Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development and Finance Corporation (KUIDFC), a state undertaking, was appointed as nodal agency to carry out a demonstration project.