May 2, 2018
In the centre: Ms. Vasundhara Raje, Hon'ble Chief Minister of Rajasthan; Extreme right: Mr. Takema Sakamoto, Chief Representative, JICA Office, with other dignitaries during the inauguration of drinking water distribution system at Deedwana under Rajasthan Rural Water Supply and Fluorosis Mitigation Project.
Deedwana, Nagaur, Rajasthan, May 2, 2018:The inauguration ceremony of newly constructed water distribution system was held in Deedwana town, Nagaur District, Rajasthan. As parts of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) assisted "Rajasthan Rural Water Supply and Fluorosis Mitigation Project (Nagaur)", two Cluster Distribution Systems (CDS) have started water distribution to 4 towns, namely Deedwana, Degana, Ladnun, and Makrana, and 120 villages in Nagaur District. On its final completion, the water supply system will cater to nearly 3 million people in around 7 towns and about 1,000 villages in Nagaur District, and 2 towns and over 100 villages in Bikaner District.
This ceremony was inaugurated by Ms. Vasundhara Raje, Hon'ble Chief Minister of Rajasthan and attended by dignitaries, including Mr. C.R. Chaudhary, Hon'ble Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Government of India (GoI); Mr. Yunus Khan, Hon'ble State Minister of PWD, Government of Rajasthan (GoR); Mr. Banshidhar Khandela, Hon'ble State Minister of Medical Health and Family Welfare; Mr. Ajay Singh Kilak, Minister of State Cooperative; Mr. Rajat Kumar Mishra, Principal Secretary, PHED, GoR and Mr. Takema Sakamoto, Chief Representative, JICA India, among others.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Takema Sakamoto, Chief Representative, JICA India Office said, "JICA recognizes the critical need for supplying safe drinking water to the people, especially in a vastly water scarce state as Rajasthan. Fluorine-contaminated underground water has been a very serious issue for a long period in this project area, and JICA strives to mitigate this situation through this Project. Fluorine consumption generates many diseases that deprive not only health but opportunities of many people. JICA has experience in abating this issue in Tamil Nadu, and we have seen the very good impact that safe drinking water can bring to the peoples' lives. Water access is very closely linked to gender equality in India, and access improvement has uplift many women's livelihoods. In short, securing safe drinking water to the people has an impact to bring many social innovations. JICA commends the State Government's efforts to tackle the safe water access issue on a priority basis, and it is an honor for JICA to be able to work with the Rajasthan authorities to tackle these very important issues. Today, I have witnessed that progress in the JICA supported project that it is bringing access to safe water for nearly 3 million people, and I believe that the State Government with the support and cooperation with its people will complete the rest of the JICA supported project to further spread the much desired impact of this project"
The loan provided by JICA for this project is 37,598 million Japanese Yen (approximately INR 2,500 crores) and it aims to construct water supply facilities that draw fluorine-free water from the Indira Gandhi Canal, implement awareness campaign and strengthen the diagnosis capacity of medical personnel. The Project assumes significance as it addresses water shortage and fluorosis in Nagaur, which has suffered from extreme shortage of drinking water, and people have been dependent on groundwater, which contains high level of fluorine. Fluorosis is therefore common among people in Nagaur.
According to JICA's survey in the appraisal stage for the Project, around 80% of local population was unable to access safe drinking water. A 2010 sample survey by Rajasthan's Department of Medical Health and Family Welfare (DoMHFW) found that 34% students aged between six years and 14 years suffered from fluorosis.
JICA has previously committed approximately 117 billion Japanese Yen (approximately INR 7,000 crore), including this project, through JICA's ODA loan for various projects in the state of Rajasthan. These projects include Rajasthan Forestry and Biodiversity Project, Bisalpur Jaipur Water Supply Project, Rajasthan Minor Irrigation Improvement Project and Rajasthan Water Sector Livelihood Improvement Project. Dedicated Freight Corridor, which is the very backbone of Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor area development concept, will also run through Rajasthan State for boosting further industrial development and prosperity in Rajasthan.
Established, by a specific law, as an incorporated administrative institution under the Government of Japan, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) aims to contribute to the promotion of international cooperation, as a sole Japanese governmental agency in charge of ODA implementation. JICA is the world's largest bilateral donor agency. JICA works as a bridge between Japan and emerging countries, and provides assistance in forms of loan, grant and technical cooperation so that the emerging countries can strengthen their capabilities.
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