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World Bank approves loan for Jinnah Barrage rehab, other improvements

The World Bank has approved a credit worth US $146 million for the second phase of a project to rehabilitate and modernize the Jinnah Barrage on the Indus River and to improve irrigation and water management.

The Punjab Barrages Improvement Phase II Project aims to strengthen and modernize Jinnah Barrage and affiliated works to enable reliable and uninterrupted supply of water for more than 2.1 million acres of farmland, benefitting about 600,000 families for irrigation and domestic water users.

World Bank Lead Water Resources Specialist and Project Team Leader Masood Ahmad said: "The development and management of water resources of the Indus Basin is a huge challenge, requiring very high levels of administrative engineering and scientific capability. While there has been progress, the current irrigation and drainage system suffers from deteriorating infrastructure and weak governance. To reduce volatility to growth, Bank support will include rehabilitation of barrages and continued capacity development at the regional and federal level for managing water resources.”

The World Bank recently approved $780 million to fund infrastructure projects in India, including $350 million for dam improvements, wire services reported.

The funding will comprise $350 million for improving 220 dams and $430 million for improving Mumbai's suburban railway, according to wire reports.

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