ADB to provide $ 273 mln loan to Rajasthan

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New Delhi, Nov 2 (UNI) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide a 273 million dollar assistance to Rajasthan for improving the living conditions of 1.6 million urban residents.

''The Rajasthan Urban Sector Development Investment Program (RUSDIP) will have ADB providing loans totaling 273 million dollars, with the state government and other agencies funding the balance,'' it said in a statement.

The 390 million dollar project is a multi-tranche lending facility and is spread over seven years.

The ADB will provide 60 million dollars in the first tranche, with the state funding 15 million dollars, the statement added.

The ADB will provide a minimum of 50 million dollars in funding for each subsequent tranche.

In the 15 urban areas targeted initially, the programme will address poverty reduction and develop urban infrastructure to improve the urban environment and living conditions as well as promote ongoing urban reforms.

''The environmental benefits of the programme are expected to include better-quality drinking water from water-supply subprojects, better public health, particularly fewer waterborne diseases through investments in water supply, sewerage, drainage and solid waste management systems, and reduced flooding through drainage improvements,'' said ADB South Asia Department's Susanne Wendt.

There must be sustained political will to continue increasing tariffs and service charges to achieve cost recovery in a reasonable time, she added.

Rajasthan is home to an estimated 56.5 million residents, with 13.2 million, or about 23 per cent, living in urban areas. While this is lower than the national average of nearly 28 per cent, the state's percentage of urban residents is expected to rise to 26 per cent by 2021.

In the 15 target areas, the urban population is expected to increase between 2-7 per cent over the next 10 years.

Started in 1998, the ADB-supported RUSDIP has received 250 million dollars in loans from the ADB and is ongoing.

UNI

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