New Delhi: The Union government signed an agreement for a $275 million loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) yesterday for improving the urban services in 64 small towns in Madhya Pradesh.
“Madhya Pradesh needs substantial investments to keep pace with rapid urbanisation. Availability of continuous piped water supply is vital for improving the urban infrastructure, and it will facilitate improved access to safe drinking water for residents in the project area,” Joint Secretary, Multilateral Institutions, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance Raj Kumar said on the occasion.
“ADB’s continued support to the State’s urban development, through this project, will improve further the quality, coverage, efficiency, and sustainability of urban service delivery, stabilize and deepen institutional capacity, and improve long-term water service management,” said LB Sondjaja, Deputy Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission. “A key element of the project is the use of design-build-operate contracts including 10-years operation and maintenance to ensure better sustainability of the water service operation and financial viability,” he added.
The project will develop sustainable, inclusive, and climate-resilient water supply in 64 small and medium-sized towns, and integrated stormwater and sewerage infrastructure in 2 heritage towns of Khajuraho and Rajnagar. The project supports the State Government’s priority to develop urban infrastructure. Previous ADB urban investments in the state have improved access to safe drinking water for more than 5 million residents in 4 major cities.
Along with ADB’s loan, the government of Madhya Pradesh will provide counterpart support of $124 million. The project will run for almost five years with an expected completion date of June 2022.
The signatories to the loan agreement for the Madhya Pradesh Urban Service Improvement Project included Raj Kumar who signed on behalf of the Union government and Sondjaja who signed for the ADB. The project agreement was signed by Vivek Aggarwal, Secretary, Urban Development and Housing Department on behalf of the Government of Madhya Pradesh.