By M.K. Ashoka
Bengaluru, Dec 5 (IANS): The delegation headed by Auguste Tano Kouame, Country Director, India, World Bank met Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Monday and discussed ways to make the state climate resilient.
Speaking to IANS, Kousame said the government spoke on plans to make the state climate resilient. Here are some excerpts.
Q: What is the World Bank and Karnataka government looking to achieve towards climate resilience with collaboration in 5 years down the lane?
A: I can't answer from the point of view of the Karnataka government yet. When we prepare the programme we will know, we will have a common target and objective. But now we haven't sat down to work on these targets yet for five years.
But, if you ask me, I think, what we can look for five years from now on, Karnataka would be in a place where, when a drought or flood happens, it won't have casualty and damage what we see today.
Q: Can you elaborate on discussion with the Karnataka government on making the state climate resilient?
A: We discussed a plan for a resilient Karnataka with the Chief Minister, the Chief Secretary and various state officials. They understand how Karnataka has been hit by several climate related disasters, cyclones, floods and so on and so forth. They presented their plans to us and they are interested in working out their plans with the World Bank.
It will have broad components such as a broad institutional setup for disaster risk, secondly urban flood management strategy, thirdly a drought management strategy for state of Karnataka and fourth is coastal risk management component.
Q: What is the cost for climate resilience?
A: We will prepare a package for the World Bank to support the programme. Hence, started the preparation for the project... it will be done by January. We did not discuss the budget and figures for this programme. But, we will know that when we start preparing the project and start costing of the project.
Q: What about the projects from the World Bank under implementation in Karnataka?
A: We spoke about the projects we have already implemented in Karnataka. We already have under implementation, the rural water supply project for $250 million. It is doing very well and we have already released funds for the second phase of the project. The board has already approved for the second phase for another $150 million.
On the request of authorities in Karnataka, we are preparing a rural water supply project at a cost of $367 million. We hope it will be approved by our board by the end of June, which is the end of our fiscal year.
Q: How do you see the potentiality of Karnataka state?
A: In terms of potentiality, Karnataka is one of the most dynamically administered states. It's a large economy when compared to other states in India. It has a fairly large population and large economy.
It has one of the most vibrant cities. With Bengaluru being the IT tech centre, a very prolific city in terms of creativity and start ups also. It's a green, smart city. Economy is doing well. There is a sense of optimism in Karnataka. It has taken several shocks and every time it has rebounded very well.
Q: How do you find the response from the CM and bureaucracy?
A: The CM was very clear in what he would like the city and state. He talked to us with a lot of passion. He is focused on the green agenda and climate change.
He even looked at the cost of the natural disasters in terms of ecology, to minimise it. He also sees a green agenda for building a stronger economy. I find him focused on this agenda of climate change and resilience. The Chief Secretary... she is very dynamic and result-oriented.