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Naandi, Winrock, Coke join hands for drinking water initiative

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Source : The Business Line Date : 07.02.2009

Naandi, Winrock, Coke join hands for drinking water initiative


“The project aims to provide reliable access to water for domestic and productive activities in rural communities.”


Our Bureau

Hyderabad, Feb. 6 Naandi Foundation, Winrock International and Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Foundation, will collaborate to launch an 18 month multiple-use water services demonstration initiative in Andhra Pradesh.

“The project aims to provide reliable access to water for domestic and productive activities in rural communities impacting 1,050 households (more than 5,000 people) and improve health, nutrition, food security and social empowerment of the targeted households,” a release issued here stated.

The pilot project also aims to increase annual income of the target group by at least 20 per cent per year and develop a model for wide scale replication across the country.

The release also said the Coca-Cola Foundation has approved a grant of $250,000 for initial support of the initiative.

‘Market-based approach’

Mr Amit Jain, COO and head of the Drinking Water and Sanitation vertical – Naandi Foundation, said, “This initiative builds on Winrock International and Naandi Foundation’s expertise using innovative market-based approaches to achieve sustainable and equitable improvements in health, income and food security for poor smallholders.”

He added that Naandi Foundation has already undertaken projects using market-based approaches to providing access to safe drinking water to poor rural smallholders, linking organic coffee growing tribal small farmers to global markets and using natural resource management techniques and revitalising defunct irrigation schemes in partnership with local communities, private donors and Government.

According to Dr Mary Renwick, Director, Water Innovation Program, Winrock International, “Winrock brings a new model of water service delivery known as Multiple-Use Services (MUS). The MUS approach builds on and adds value to investments in community domestic water systems or irrigation systems and has potential to simultaneously improve smallholder health and incomes.”

Last Updated on Monday, 08 June 2009 11:20
 

World Bank to fund AP project for urban services

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Source : The Business Line Date : 30.01.2009

World Bank to fund AP project for urban services

Rs 1,544 scheme likely to be approved by March.

Our Bureau

Hyderabad, Jan. 29 The World Bank and Andhra Pradesh Government will take up a Rs 1544-crore project to bring about reforms in urban bodies and improve municipal services.

The State Cabinet, which met here on Thursday, ahead of the forthcoming State Legislative Assembly session poised to commence on February 2, approved the project.

The Andhra Pradesh Urban Reforms and Municipal Services Project will have the World Bank contributing about Rs 1,191 crore and the rest, Rs 353 crore, will be from the State Government.

The project, likely to be approved by March 2009, will focus on drinking water projects, sanitation and solid waste management.

Briefing newspersons after the Cabinet meeting, the State Information Minister, Mr Anam Ramnarayan Reddy, said this project would bring about reforms in municipal services and also streamline their functioning.

PENSION SCHEME FOR SHGs

The Cabinet also resolved to introduce co-contributory pension scheme for women self help groups (SHGs) with immediate effect. Referred to as Indira Kranthi Patham (IKP) Pension Scheme, this seeks to cover about 1.25 crore women.

Women past 60 years will be eligible for pension of up to Rs 500 to Rs 2,500 per month. While a member of SHGs contributes Rs 30 per month, the State Government would contribute a similar amount and together the contributions would be deposited in a bank.

On the death of a subscriber during the contributory phase, the contributions of the subscriber and accrued earnings on such contributions shall be transferred as a lump sum to the nominee of the subscriber.

The money thus deposited in the bank would be transferred to Life Insurance Corporation of India, which has the mandate to maintain the corpus fund and invest the amount wisely. The Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP) would be the nodal implementation agency.

The State Government has committed Rs 365 crore for the next financial year for the IKP Pension Scheme.

In other decisions, the Cabinet approved the Justice K. Jagannath Shetty recommendations on new pay scales for judiciary in the subordinate courts and amendment to the Value Added Tax enactment, aimed at simplifying procedures further.

Last Updated on Monday, 08 June 2009 11:16
 

‘GIS must be integrated with national e-governance’

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Source : The Business Line Date 16.02.2009

‘GIS must be integrated with national e-governance’

Phalguna Jandhyala

Hyderabad, Feb. 11 The Union Government has been urged to look at integrating geographic information system (GIS) with the national e-governance programme.

“E-governance to me means embedding geospatial information, maps of different types showing resource usage, where the education and health facilities are located and so on. All these are GIS applications,” Ms Preetha Pulusani, Director, Rolta India, told Business Line on the sidelines of the Map World Forum here on Wednesday.

She added that the Government should look at making GIS applications more pervasive.

Ms Pulusani said that budgetary allocation for GIS must be increased like it has been done for the information technology sector.

“GIS has always been taken as a very special and niche area. GIS has hardly been looked at by the Government from a strategic and long-term perspective, rather it was looked at as project based rather than enterprise wise,” she said.

Welcoming the move to set up an independent regulator for the sector, Ms Pulusani said such a body must be inclusive and have representatives from the private sector and the academia and not just with Government focus.

“As the Map Policy frees up digital map information, we will be able to deploy more applications in this area. The industry should look at the developed countries where such applications have been deployed to replicate here,” she said.

Earlier, speaking at a session on Geospatial Technology – Development and Trends, Mr Mark Steele, Chief Operating Officer, Tele Atlas Asia Pacific, said, “Navigational devices are no longer a novelty. Soon navigation devices will be ubiquitous just like the mobile phones.”

He also said that the future of digital maps will have higher levels of accuracy but for this collection is the key.

“The new applications and digital maps of the future will have more personal information and this will be the next wave that we will ride,” Mr Steele added.

Last Updated on Monday, 08 June 2009 09:28
 


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