Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 18:
The World Bank board of Executive Directors are on a two-day visit to Odisha to experience firsthand some of the work being implemented under World Bank-supported projects in the state.
The nine-member delegation visited the districts of Khurda and Ganjam to see disaster mitigation and post-disaster recovery work under the National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project Phase I (NCRMP- I) and the Odisha Disaster Recovery Project (ODRP).
While in Bhubaneswar, the Executive Directors were presented the achievements of the Energy Efficient Street Lighting Project supported by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank.
The Executive Directors also interacted with beneficiaries of reconstructed houses in Upulaputi in Chhatrapur block of Ganjam district affected by Cyclone Phailin in 2013.
Local community members in Boriasahi in Khurda displayed their enhanced capacity to respond to disasters. Volunteers demonstrated mock exercises to display their ability to conduct efficient search and rescue operations and in providing first aid to injured people in the event of a disaster.
Further, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), presented the highlights of a street lighting project that is saving electricity and reducing GHG emissions for the city of Bhubaneswar with support from the IFC. The project includes features like meter based billing, remote switching, replacement of existing luminaires with energy efficient technology, and proper inventory management under a Public Private Partnership (PPP), said a press notification from Odisha Chief Minister’s Office.
During the two-day visit, the Executive Directors met with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi to discuss the World Bank Group partnership as well as the overall engagement with the state of Odisha.
Notably, the bank has been active in Odisha since the mid-1990’s, beginning with a successful water resources consolidation project. Odisha was also the first state in India to take forward power sector reforms with World Bank assistance and the lessons from this project have had a significant influence on India’s power sector policies.
It continues to be engaged with Odisha in sectors related to health, irrigation and disaster management, and environmental conservation through its multistate and national projects.
The bank is currently funding a $250 million state roads project, $76 million community tanks project, and $153 million Odisha disaster recovery project. In addition, the state also receives assistance from various projects financed by the bank to the national programs of the Government of India, the press release added.
Besides, IFC and the State Government are working on a range of Public Private Partnership (PPP) transactions in the health, urban development, housing, aria renewable energy sectors. The Odisha Inclusive Growth Partnership, focuses on improving the investment climate and diversification of the state’s investment base in the non-natural resources sectors, especially agribusiness and tourism. IFC has also made a few strategic investments in Odisha.
Today, the largest operations of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), and the International Finance Corporation (IF’C) are in India.
As of March 2016, total IBRD and IDA net commitments in India stood at $25.6 billion (IBRD) $13.4 billion, IDA $12.2 billion across 86 projects. As of March 2016, the IFC’s India portfolio contained 267projects, amounting to committed and disbursed exposure of $5 billion.