Karnataka gets ADB loan of Rs 386 crore

India signed an agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Tuesday for a $63.3-million loan (approximately Rs 386 crore) for improving urban services and strengthening municipal and project management capacity in several towns of North Karnataka, according to a press release.

The agreement is for the fourth project under the overall facility of $270 million for the North Karnataka Urban Sector Investment Programme.

The fourth and last tranche of loan under the North Karnataka Urban Sector Investment Programme will help upgrade infrastructure, including expansion of the potable water systems to provide continuous water supply (24X7), with private sector participation in 12 towns (Basavakalyan, Bellary, Bidar, Gadag-Betegeri, Gokak, Haveri, Hospet, Nipanni, Raichur, Shahabad, Sindhanur and Yadgir); completion of sewerage networks in three towns (Haveri, Hospet and Raichur), and improvement of the road network in Badami and Ilkal.

Tarun Bajaj, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, signed the agreement on behalf of the Government of India and M Teresa Kho, country director of ADB’s India Resident Mission, signed the agreement on behalf of ADB.

Bajaj said the project would help upgrade water supply network, expand sewerage infrastructure and improve roads in 14 towns of North Karnataka. He said this would help the State improve the quality of life in these deprived areas in the State.

Maximising efficiency
He said that in order to maximise efficiency gains and ensure adequate operation and maintenance during initial years, water utility operators would be engaged through a performance-based management contract to design and construct sections of the distribution networks, provide metered connections and operate and maintain the facilities.

The programme will support municipal governance, leading to better municipal service through the use of geographic information systems for property tax mapping and utility mapping, as well as assist Karnataka in establishing a heritage planning cell under the Town Planning Department, for conservation of heritage structures and sites in the State. The programme aims at improving basic urban services for at least 4.3 million people living in 25 North Karnataka towns.

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