New Delhi, Feb 23 : Multilateral lending agency Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Friday signed an agreement with the Indian government to lend (Dollar) 84 million to improve water supply in two cities of Bihar.
"The government of India and the Asian Development Bank signed a (Dollar) 84-million loan today (Friday) for improvement and expansion of water supply in Bhagalpur and Gaya towns in Bihar," the Union Ministry of Finance said in a statement.
This is the second tranche of the (Dollar) 200-million multi-tranche financing facility (MFF) for the Bihar Urban Development Investment Program that was approved by the ADB in 2012 for four cities -- Bhagalpur, Gaya, Darbhanga and Muzaffarpur.
"The Project 2 will improve access to better quality and sustainable water supply for the people of Bhagalpur and Gaya towns.
It will also promote better water management practices that will result in a citywide coverage with 24-hour uninterrupted supply of treated water of 135 litres per capita per day in both cities," said Sameer Kumar Khare, Joint Secretary (Multilateral Institutions), Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance.
The loan agreement was signed by Khare on behalf of the Indian government, ADB India Resident Mission Country Director Kenichi Yokoyama and Bihar government Resident Commissioner Vipin Kumar.
"The loan finances will support civil works sub-projects and would benefit 1.1 million people in the two project towns with increased coverage of treated water supply by 2021; train 400 urban local body (ULB) staff in the management and operation and maintenance of water supply systems, and help ULBs improve technical and financial management of the water supply operations," said Kenichi Yokoyama.
The two cities would achieve the national urban service goals or match many of the national averages for urban service delivery performance in India.
The investment programme will assist ULBs in designing affordable tariffs for cost recovery, said the ministry.
The loan will have a 25-year term, including a grace period of five years.