World Bank Approves $250 Mn Loan For J&K Flood Recovery Project
3 June 2015
: Multi-lateral lender World Bank today approved $250 million loan for Jhelum and Tawi Flood Recovery Project for reconstruction of flood-affected public infrastructure in Jammu & Kashmir. It will also strengthen the capacity of state government to respond and better manage natural disasters in future, World Bank said in a release. The project will be funded by credit from World Bank's concessionary -International Development Association (IDA). The loan has a maturity of 25 years, including a five-year grace period. A continuous spell of rains in September 2014 had caused Jhelum, Chenab and Tawi rivers, their tributaries and many other streams to flow above the danger mark which had severely affected livelihoods in the state. Due to the unprecedented heavy rainfall, the catchment areas, particularly low lying ones, were flooded for more than two weeks, while Jhelum breached its banks at several places. 'This region is highly vulnerable to natural disasters that can push millions into poverty. In addition to reconstruction, which includes reconstruction of roads, bridges and public infrastructure, the project will also help the region be better prepared for the future,' said Onno Ruhl, World Bank Country Director in India, in the statement. 'The challenge is to build smarter, so that they do not undermine the fragile eco-system. It will incorporate lessons from previous national and global post-disaster recovery projects to ensure that recovery is targeted, effective and more resilient to future disasters,' he added. The recovery project will focus on 20 districts - Anantnag, Baramula, Budgam, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Kupwara, Kulgam, Pulwama, Shopian, Srinagar, Jammu, Samba, Kathua, Reasi, Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban, Poonch, Rajauri and Udhampur. It will help rebuild damaged public buildings - hospitals, schools, higher education buildings, fire stations, and selected block and district offices. 'It will restore and improve connectivity disrupted by reconstruction of damaged roads and bridges. The infrastructure will be re-designed to withstand earthquake and floods as per the latest official design guidelines,' it said. The project will also focus on disaster risk mitigation and strengthen the capacity of government entities in managing disaster risk. It will help in enhancing preparedness, and achieving resilient recovery through preparation of a Hydro -Meteorological Resilience Action Plan.