US$ 500mn For Water, Education Projects
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US$ 500mn for water, education projects

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Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government signed the first- tranche of US $ 84 mn under Multi-tranche credit line for the implementation of non revenue water management programme in the Greater Colombo area. The total investment cost of this programme is US $ 400 mn of which US $ 300 mn is to be provided by the ADB to supplement the Government investment of US $ 100 mn to improve water supply and water management systems in the Municipality areas of Colombo, Kollonnawa, Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia and Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte.

The programme is designed to reduce non-revenue water in the municipality areas in Colombo from its current level of around 49% to 20% by 2016. Most parts of the pipe born water supply system in the Greater Colombo Area is about 60 to 70 years old. Paying lesser attention to renovate the aging distribution system has resulted in an increase of the non-revenue water level significantly, with a loss of around Rs 3 bn per annum. The proposed improvements to the water supply and water management systems will improve access to safe drinking water, ensure an uninterrupted supply of water and also result in energy savings, says the Ministry of Finance and Planning.

The Ministry of Water Supply and Drainage, the National Water Supply and Drainage Board, the Ministry of Local Government and Provincial Councils and the Colombo Municipal Council will jointly spearhead the implementation.

Further, a Budget Support of US $ 200 mn. For education sector development was approved in support of Sri Lanka’s human capital development to address emerging middle income economy needs and Government’s knowledge centric policy strategies.

The programme aims at improving student learning, equity in access to quality education and efficiency of the education system by supporting the mahindodaya school development initiative for primary and secondary schools islandwide. The first tranch of US$ 40 mn is to be released before end 2013.

ADB President Mr. Takehiko Nakao and Secretary to the Treasury Dr. P. B Jayasundera signed the two loan agreements on Friday the 28th of June, at the Headquarters of the Asian Development Bank in Manila, Philippine.

Dr. P B. Jayasundera, also held bilateral discussions with Mr. Takehiko Nakao President of the ADB, Mr. Xiaoyo Zhao, Vice President of ADB, Mr. Juan Mirinda, Director General (South Asia Department) of the ADB , on future programmes in education, urban townships development, highways, road network connectivity, energy and proposed programmes towards a poverty free Sri Lanka by 2016 as announced by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his 2013 Budget Speech delivered in November 2012.