New Delhi, Oct 13: In order to improve the infrastructure in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, the Manila-headquartered, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Centre signed a contract totaling $570 million (about Rs 4,200 crore) to fund public infrastructure building and strengthen urban sector projects both in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
ADB and the government signed a USD 300 million loan to finance inclusive and sustainable water supply and sanitation infrastructure and services in 14 secondary towns of Rajasthan. Meanwhile, a $270 million loan was signed to develop water supply and integrated stormwater and sewage management infrastructure and strengthen capacities of urban local bodies (ULBs) for improved service delivery in Madhya Pradesh.
The signatories to the Rajasthan Secondary Towns Development Sector Project were Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary (Fund Bank and ADB), Department of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance who signed for the Government of India, and Takeo Konishi, Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission, who signed for ADB.
"The project aims to provide better quality and more sustainable water supply and sanitation (WSS) services in the project towns that will improve quality of life in these towns, including for the poor and vulnerable," said Khare after signing the loan agreement. "The investments in WSS with 10-year operation and maintenance contracts will ensure improved and sustainable service delivery in line with the state government’s urban sector development plan."
Through the project, water supply systems in at least eight project towns are expected to improve by 2027, benefiting more than 570,000 people. Citywide sanitation systems will benefit about 720,000 people in at least 14 secondary towns.
Speaking about the Madhya Pradesh project, the loan is additional financing intended to scale up the scope of the Madhya Pradesh Urban Services Improvement Project, which was approved in 2017 with a USD 275 million loan. It will expand the outcome of the current project by benefiting an additional 1,85,000 households consisting of about 1.3 million people.
The project will receive support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, specifically for the integration of Citywide Inclusive Sanitation principles into the planning, design, implementation, operation, and maintenance of the sanitation subprojects.
Khare said the project will improve livability in selected cities with provision of universal access to basic water and sanitation services for the residents. This is aligned to the vision of the Government of Madhya Pradesh to improve urban infrastructure services with universal coverage of piped water supply in all urban local bodies by 2025.
As in the previous loan, the project will support the continued institutional strengthening and capacity building of the Urban Development and Housing Department and Madhya Pradesh Urban Development Company Limited.