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Centre spends around $30 billion annually on various schemes related to water: BofAML

Updated : July 18, 2019 06:48 PM IST

Bank of America Merrill Lynch on Thursday said that Narendra Modi government is spending around $30 billion annually on various schemes related to water.

In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Amish Shah, co-head of India research, said, "India predominantly relies on groundwater and rainwater; groundwater is depleting very fast."

"As per NITI Aayog’s report recently, all of India will run out of groundwater and rainwater within the next 10 years. As PM Modi highlighted that we are only harvesting around 8 percent of that," Shah said.

According to Shah, Indians are still severely dependent on rains and like last year when rain is deficient, it leads to acute water crisis, "On the per capita water availability, we have fallen by 70 percent over the last six decades and on an average, we just have a shade above 1,500 cubic meters of water, which is already stress level as per the agencies who monitor it. So all of this is a reason why the government wants to focus on this issue as a very important one."

He further said the allocation in Union Budget 2019 for ‘water supply’ schemes went up 81 percent and the overall capex required on water infrastructure could be $270 billion.

Talking about water treatment, Shah said, "Every sewage treatment plant, which is used to clean Ganga at the moment, approximately is around $10 million of capex and Ganga alone is doing 150 of these projects. So, over and above, these projects need to be implemented in many more places as around 70 percent of water bodies in India are contaminated."

"As per our bottom-up analysis, around 45 percent of this capex will end up towards pipes, around 15 percent will go towards pumps, around 20 percent will go towards steel and cement to construct these projects and remaining 20 percent could be towards labour, technical designs, consultancy etc," he added.
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