New Delhi, Sept 26: In order to improve the infrastructure in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, the Manila-headquartered, Asian Development Bank (ADB) said it has approved two loans totaling $570 million (about Rs 4,200 crore) for urban sector projects both in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. ADB said it has approved a $300 million loan to develop Rajasthan's secondary towns whereas it nodded for a $270 million loan for Madhya Pradesh Urban Services Improvement Project.
In a statement, ADB said the $300 million loan was to finance inclusive water supply and sanitation infrastructure and services in secondary towns of Rajasthan. "The project is expected to build citywide access for improved water supply services for around 570,000 people and enhanced sanitation services for about 720,000 people in at least 14 secondary towns. These localities have 20,000–100,000 residents," it stated.
It informed that water supply systems in at least eight project towns are expected to improve by 2027, with about 100,000 households including all urban poor households, benefiting from five new or rehabilitated water treatment plants and 1,350 kilometers of distribution networks. Citywide sanitation systems based on the most cost-effective solutions will also be developed.
Further, it said, "The project will build on three earlier related projects and sector reforms funded by ADB in Rajasthan. Since 2000, the government has implemented two multisector urban investment projects supported by ADB, benefiting more than 7 million people in 21 cities. The third project, Rajasthan Urban Sector Development Program, implements water supply and sanitation investments in six major cities."
The project will strengthen the institutional capacity of the local governments and the Rajasthan Urban Drinking Water, Sewerage, and Infrastructure Corporation Limited, a corporate entity established with ADB’s technical support. The project will provide enhanced support to women and vulnerable groups through skills training, paid internships, and community engagement and awareness activities.
In another statement, ADB said it provided a $270 million loan for the construction of water supply and integrated stormwater and sewage management infrastructure in Madhya Pradesh. 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, ADB said. "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," it said.
“ADB’s support is aligned with 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,” said ADB Urban Development Specialist for South Asia Laxmi Sharma. “Through inclusive water and sanitation services to the urban poor, the project will help achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6 or access to clean water and sanitation for all.”
Further, it stated, "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. The project will pilot an integrated urban development approach to improve urban service delivery and infrastructure of two urban local bodies. ADB’s technical support will provide a significant model that can be used to replicate and scale up the enhancement of urban livability in other localities."