ADB to lend $60 m for urban services in State

The Centre has signed an agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for a $60-million loan for developing urban services in several towns in North Karnataka.

A Finance Ministry statement said on Friday that the agreement is for the third Project under the overall facility of $270 million for the North Karnataka Urban Sector Investment Program (NKUSIP).

Besides improving urban services, the loan is expected to strengthen municipal and project management capacity of towns in North Karnataka.

The third tranche of the loan under the North Karnataka Urban Sector Investment Program will develop sewerage networks in six towns, and help the rehabilitation and expansion of potable water systems in two more towns.

More than 1,00,000 households will benefit from the improvements. Nilaya Mitash, joint secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance signed the agreement on behalf of the Centre and Hun Kim, country director of ADB’s India Resident Mission, signed the agreement on behalf of ADB.

The project agreement was also signed by P N Sreenivasachary, principal secretary with the Urban Development Department of the Karnataka government and Darpan Jain, managing director of the Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development & Finance Corporation Limited.

Nilaya Mitash said that the project will support Karnataka in improving the quality of life and economic growth in Bidar, Davanagere, Dharwad, Gadag-Betegeri, Gulbarga, Jamkhandi, Sindhanur and Yadgir in North Karnataka. The project will improve access to better urban services in the eight targeted urban local bodies, he added.

Kim said that the project will assist the implementation of the state’s reform agenda through the execution of property and utility mapping sub-projects using geographic information systems and the establishment of a Heritage Planning Cell. He said that it will also provide assistance to enhance billing and collection efficiencies in program towns.

The loan from Manila-based ADB has a 25-year term including a grace period of five years, commitment charges of 0.15 per cent and an interest rate to be determined in accordance with ADB’s LIBOR-based lending facility. The Karnataka government will provide counterpart funds of $41.6 million for a total project investment cost of $101.6 million under this tranche.

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