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Asom negotiates with ADB for Rs 2200 crore flood loan

Written by: Staff
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Guwahati, July 06 (UNI) The Asom Government is negotiating with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for a Rs 2200 crore loan for containing flood, said Asom Planning&Development Minister Prithivi Majhi.

Addressing a news conference here today, Mr Majhi said the state government had taken a policy decision for the loan, but was negotiating with the ADB on its various terms and condition.

'' The fund will be coming as Integrated Flood and Erosion Mitigation project in the state and we would like to get it as ninety per cent grant and ten per cent loan component,'' said Mr Majhi.

The Central Government is the counter guarantor of this huge loan through which the entire embankments of Asom are to be restrengthened.

Asom has 4,464 km of embankments in the state and of that only 5 km of embankments have technical life as the validity of all have long expired.

'' These embankments has a technical life for 25 years, which has long expired, but fortunately they are still holding water. If they are not there than 65 per cent of the state would be under water for five months'' said Asom Water resource minister Bharat Narah, who was also present on the occasion.

The Asom Government is trying to convert the whole project into an inter state project through which the Planning Commission and Asian Development Bank(ADB) can be convinced about the ninety per cent grant and ten per cent loan structure.

''It is cent per cent loan, if the project is only for Asom or one single state. We would like to rope in Meghalaya also as part of the Brahmaputra in South Salmara section is actually under Meghalaya'' said Mr Narah.

Mr Majhi further informed that Asom Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had already agreed in principle about the loan and only the ''amount and terms and conditions are to be decided''.

The project will handle both strengthening of existing embankment as well as anti erosion measures of the state. The latter has become a big menace and Mr Majhi informed that an expert committee would be visiting soon in the Rohmoriya area of Dibrugarh to prepare a detailed project report for the erosion measures.

The ADB loan sanctioning process will be a long drawn one and before the take off of the actual project a few pilot projects would also be conducted by the ADB, said Mr Majhi.

UNI MT KK RR VC1710

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